BYRON, John; and [DUBOIS-FONTANELLE, Jean Gaspard]
The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron (Commodore in a late expedition round the world) Containing an account of the great distresses suffered by himself and his companions on the coast of Patagonia, from the year 1740, till their arrival in England, 1746 ... [Bound with:] The Shipwreck and Adventures of Monsieur Pierre Viaud, a native of Bordeaux, and Captain of a Ship, translated from the French by Mrs. Griffith
London: for S. Baker [and others], 1768; London: for T. Davies, 1771. Two volumes in one, octavo. [Byron:] , viii, 257, pp. Engraved frontispiece. [Dubois-Fontanelle:] xii, 276pp. Half-title. Engraved frontispiece.
Contemporary half calf and marbled paper covered boards, spine with raised bands in six compartments, red morocco lettering piece.
Provenance: Margaretta Pelham (early booklabel)
A pair of important American shipwreck narratives.
The Wager was a transport and supply ship, part of George Anson's fleet of eight ships sent to harass the Spanish in the Pacific. She rounded Cape Horn successfully but ran aground on 14 May 1741 in the Guayaneco Archipelago. "Byron was a midshipman aboard the Wager when it was wrecked on an island off the Chilean coast. He describes the privations endured by the survivors who remained with Captain David Cheap. They were tended by the Indians until discovered and taken prisoner by the Spanish authorities" (Hill). "Admiral Byron's narrative of the loss of the Wager is one of the most thrilling accounts in the language, and supplied his illustrious descendant with many particulars for the shipwreck in 'Don Juan'" (Sabin). This copy of the first edition of Byron's Narrative bound with the first edition in English of a noted and popular Florida shipwreck account. "In maritime annals few personal narratives seem better authenticated than this account of shipwreck and horrifying sufferings on an island off Florida's west coast" (Howes).
[Byron:] ESTC T142259; Hill 232; Sabin 9730. [Dubois-Fontanelle:] ESTC T138378; Howes V86; Sabin 99415.