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  • The Narrative of Captain David Woodward [Adventures and Suffering in the Celebes] -1805

    The Narrative of Captain David Woodward [Adventures and Suffering in the Celebes] -1805

    An extremely scarce account, we can only find one other copy available.

    The lengthy full title explains … The Narrative of Captain David Woodward and Four Seamen Who Lost their Ship while in a Boat at Sea and Surrendered Themselves up to the Malays in the Island of Celebes … containing an Interesting Account of their Sufferings from Hunger and Various Hardships, and their Escape from the Malays. After a Captivity of Two Year and a Half: Also, an Account of the Manners and Customs of That Country, and a Description of the Harbours & Coasts etc. Together with An Introduction and an Appendix containing Narratives of Various Escapes from Shipwrecks, under Great Hardships and Abstinence; holding out a Valuable Seaman’s Guide. And the Importance of Union, Confidence and Perseverance in the Midst of Distress.

    Printed by Johnson, St Paul’s Church-Yard a second edition 1805 and despite this truly scarce. Octavo, 236 pages, rough cut edges as issued. Contemporary half calf with marbled paper covered boards showing some wear.

    Frontispiece a profile of Woodward, folding chart of the Island of Celebes, larger folding chart of the Western Part of the Island (Celebes) visited by Captain Woodward and a two page plate of Proas, Canoes and Implements of War of the Malays.

    The first 143 pages comprises Woodward’s narrative the events of which commenced in March 1791. Woodward had departed on an American Ship from Batavia to Manilla. There was a scarcity of provisions and Woodward along with five sailors (one died soon in the events if you are curious about the title) set off on a quest to find supplies. They got separated from their ship and after many adventures and near death with thirst and starvation surrendered themselves to the Malay of the Celebes. They were treated as slaves and suffered many hardships. Eventually they begin to find help and after a failed attempt to escape finally make it to safety at Macassar. From there they are engaged on an American ship, Woodward as Chief-mate and sail for Calcutta. There Woodward meets Captain Hubbard with whom he sails to Mauritius and there Woodward is given Command of the Ship. From there to Bourbon, round the Cape of Good Hope to St Helena for repairs. Then to Ascension and on to England.

    Woodward follows this adventure with a description of the Celebes its climate and natural history, religion and manners and a brief vocabulary of the Malay language.

    The other misadventures described include … Captain Inglefield’s Narrative; William Boys’s Narrative of the Luxembourgh Galley; Lieutenant Bligh’s Narrative; Loss of the Lady Hobart Packet; Loss of the Pandora Frigate and several more.

    Appendices include several useful articles including …. Case of Thomas Travis – seven days in a Pit; Experiment of a Physician; Remarkable Case of the Effects of Long Abstinence, List of a Number of Accidents, Shipwrecks, Escapes etc.

    Captain Woodward’s incredible hardship is the Celebes among the Malay’s


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  • The Fate of Franklin – Roderic Owen

    The Fate of Franklin – Roderic Owen

    Title continues …The Life and Mysterious Death of the Most Heroic of the Arctic Explorers. May be the key summary work on this never finished story. The author a descendant of Sir John Franklin.

    First edition thick octavo published by Hutchinson of Australia in 1978. 471 pages, illustrated throughout with a number of maps and charts including end paper maps. Carries the bookplate of bibliophile John M Chapman. A very good copy.

    Well constructed with a fair bit of early background including his term as Governor of Tasmania and the part played by Jane Franklin then and later to the very end. Set out in three sections … “The Man who Ate His Boots”; “the Whipping Boy and “ The Heart That Can Feel for Another”. Three journeys to find the North-West Passage … the final tragic attempt in the Erebus and Terror continues to mystify both fiction and non-fiction book writers and lovers.

    Franklin and his voyages to the Arctic in super detail.



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  • Watership Down – Richard Adams – First Australian Edition 1974 – A Fine Copy

    Watership Down – Richard Adams – First Australian Edition 1974 – A Fine Copy

    Richard Adams first book a fantasy story about the natural environment. Adams progressively made up a story about a society of rabbits to amuse his two daughters on long care journeys. His daughters encouraged him to write a book .. which was to win the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Prize.

    A first Australian Edition 1974 published by Rex Collins of London in conjunction with Angus & Robertson, Australasia. First published in the England in 1972 by the one man publisher Collins having been rejected by the majors. More fools them … the story won the prestigious Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Award … made into the classic animated film, television series etc.

    Large octavo, 412 pages, coloured folding map showing Efrafa, Watership Down etc at the rear. Fine condition in a fine dust jacket rare given an often pored over book.

    Set in Hampshire the story of a colony (or fluffle) of rabbits. Living in a natural habitat they are anthropomorphised in the story with language, culture, mythology etc. Things are not straightforward and they narrowly escape the destruction of their warren by developers … seeking a new home on Watership Down. Complex enthralling storyline.

    Watership Down Australian First a Super Book in Fine Condition… “Bright Eyes .. Burning Like Fire”


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  • Egyptology – “The Mummy’s Curse” – Letter from Sir John Alexander Cockburn 1929 re mysterious death of Hackett on Sayce expedition.

    Egyptology – “The Mummy’s Curse” – Letter from Sir John Alexander Cockburn 1929 re mysterious death of Hackett on Sayce expedition.

    Manuscript letter over two sides on Cockburn’s letterhead – Dean’s Hill, Harrietsham, Kent, January 1929. To Mr Chesson concerning the mysterious death of Hackett, signed John A Cockburn. Very legible and excellent condition.

    “I wonder if you ever heard that Hackett died dome years ago when with Sayce in Egypt. They had been witnessing the desecration of the royal tombs & superstitious folk imagined that the curse which falls on the sacrilegious had lighted on him …”

    Sir John Cockburn was a politician and Premier of South Australia and later Agent General in London. He had wide and varied interests.

    Archibald Sayce was a leading British Egyptologist and Voyager hero … we have an original letter penned by the great man and usually one or two of his books online.

    James Thompson Hackett (1858-1974) was born in Collinwood, Victoria. He became a solicitor and partnered John Cox Bray who also became Premier and Agent General of South Australia. Hackett became greatly interested in metaphysics and the supernatural hence ending up in Egypt with Sayce. He died (of the curse?) in Luxor on 6th March 1924.

    The recipient of the letter was Wilfred Hugh Chesson (1870-1952) writer and editor at publishers Unwin, London. Chesson has been involved published Hackett’s books on the unusual.

    Mysterious Death in Egypt! Intriguing Australian connections


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  • Rape of the Fly [Papua New Guinea] – John Goode – Signed

    Rape of the Fly [Papua New Guinea] – John Goode – Signed

    A fine first edition published by Nelson in 1977. Octavo, 272 pages, illustrated. Signed by the author on the title page.

    Carries the elaborate folding descriptive bookplate of noted Papuan collector, Charles Thomas Fletcher, designed by Lance Taylor.

    The story of Luigi D’Albertis and Hargrave and the exploration of the great Fly River. A well put together account and with an extraordinary depth of quoted reference. Also mentions Yule Island – Voyager’s favourite holiday destination.

    Superb Account of D’Albertis



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  • An Arctic Voyage to Baffin’s Bay and Lancaster Sound in Search of Friends with Sir John Franklin – Robert Anstruther Goodsir  (Late President of the Royal Medical Society).

    An Arctic Voyage to Baffin’s Bay and Lancaster Sound in Search of Friends with Sir John Franklin – Robert Anstruther Goodsir (Late President of the Royal Medical Society).

    A fine facsimile of the pricey 1850 original by Voorst, London. This edition published by The Arctic Press, Plaistow & Sutton Coldfield, England in 1996.

    Octavo, viii, 152 pages in original blue cloth covered binding, black end paper, frontispiece and folding map showing the route taken. Limited edition this individually numbered 350 of 500.

    The author a distinguished medic undertook an eight month voyage aboard the “Advice” under whaling Captain Penny in search of the missing Franklin expedition in 1849. The author’s brother, Harry Goodsir, was surgeon with Franklin. The journal gives a good description of Baffin’s Bay and Lancaster Sound as well as interactions with Eskimo, ice conditions, bird life, polar bears and whaling etc. The author also joined the second Penny expedition to attempt to find Franklin aboard the “Lady Franklin”

    Goodsir in the Arctic looking for Franklin and his brother


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