‘The London Missionary Society was founded in 1795, mainly to send missions to Polynesia. The voyage of the Duff was undertaken for the purpose of establishing a mission in Tahiti, and a settlement of twenty-five persons was formed… Apart from the missionary interest of this account, the voyagers made many important discoveries of islands’ (Hill). There are two issues of this work, with differing subscriber’s lists, the first of which was printed by Gosnell on larger and finer paper, as here. The authorship of the work is variously attributed depending on which bibliography is consulted. An ‘Advertisement’ in this copy states, ‘the body of the journal is the composition of Mr. William Wilson, from the Captain’s [James Wilson’s] papers, his own, and the Missionaries reports’. The editor of the work was Thomas Haweis, of the London Missionary Society, and the long Preliminary Discourse was written by Samuel Greatheed, using the then unpublished account of James Morrison, one of the pardoned Bounty mutineers.
First edition, first state, large paper copy on fine paper. 4to, [xii], c, 420, [xii (subscribers’ list)] pp., with 7 engraved maps (of which 6 folding) and 6 engraved plates, contemporary tree calf, sometime rebacked, red morocco label, light wear to corners, light offsetting to text, light marginal spotting, a little browning, a very good copy.[Borba de Moraes p943; Ferguson 301; Hill 1894; Kroepelien 528.]
John Biddulph (inscription to title & large Biddulph Ledbury armorial bookplate).