Rare; as with most Russian editions of Pacific exploration. Most likely translated from one of Forster’s Berlin printings. In 1769 Jean François de Surville (1717-1770) set out from Bengal for the Pacific in the St Jean-Baptiste on a private commercial voyage bound for Tahiti. By the time the ship was in the Pacific the crew were badly affected by scurvy, the major killer of sailors in the eighteenth century. Hoping to find the land that Tasman had ‘discovered’, Surville headed South sighting land off the Northwest coast of New Zealand at Hokianga Harbour (Te Hokianga-nui-a-Kupe – the place of Kupe’s return [Kupe being the great polynesian navigator]). After carrying out some exploration on New Zealand’s Northwest coast Surville again went in search of Terra Australis, but scurvy once more forced a change of course and the much depleted crew reached the coast of Peru, near Piso, in April 1770 where Surville was drowned whilst trying to get help for his debilitated and greatly depleted crew.
First Russian edition. Two engraved plates, 8vo, contemporary calf, spine with Greek key motif in blind, missing label to spine, some light wear to extremities, otherwise very good. [vi], 188pp.[DuRietz 449; Howgego S194.]
Frederick E. Ellis (pictorial bookplate to front pastedown).