A Voyage round the World by ANSON, George Anson, Baron…

ANSON, George Anson, Baron (1697-1762).

A Voyage round the World in the years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV. by George Anson, Esq; commander in chief of a squadron of His Majesty’s ships, sent upon an expedition to the South-Seas. Compiled from papers and other materials of the Right Honourable George Lord Anson, an published under his direction. By Richard Walter, M. A. Chaplain of his Majesty’s Ship the Centurion, in that Expedition. The Fourth Edition. With Charts of the Southern Part of South America, of Part of the Pacific Ocean, and of the Track of the Centurion round the World. London, John and Paul Knapton, 1748.

Fourth Edition. 8vo (202 x 118 mm), folding engraved map (torn along join but without loss) as frontispiece and pp. [xxiv], 548, with two further large folding maps accompanying the text, the first of these also torn along the fold, into the engraving but with no loss, some browning in the text which has clearly been much read, in contemporary plain calf, triple gilt fillet to covers, spine ruled in compartments, hideous leather repair stuck over the upper part of the spine, central part of lower spine still cracking but held in place by the sledgehammer repair above, joints sound, a little wear at extremities, with the contemporary heraldic bookplate of W.T.R Powell, the ownership inscription of ‘Richard Garrett His Book 1781’ on the front endpaper and the inscription ‘Philipps D.D. 1748’ on the title-page.

Apart from an atrocious attempt to repair the spine, this is a good, working copy in a solid early eighteenth century binding with signs of early provenance and complete with the three large folding charts. This is the official account of Anson’s voyage, prepared by Benjamin Robins from the journals compiled by the chaplain, Richard Walter. A masterpiece of descriptive travel writing, it was probably the most popular book of maritime adventure published in the eighteenth century. First published in quarto earlier in 1748, ESTC notes: ‘William Bowyer printed 2000 copies of eight sheets 8vo for Knapton for this work in 1748, presumably for one of the three editions (or printings, or issues); it cannot be determined which’.

ESTC t59233; see Sabin 1625; Cox I, p. 49.

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