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  • The Discovery of the South Shetland Islands. The Voyage of the Brig Williams – Poynter [ed R.J. Campbell]

    One of our favourite Hakluyt production, published 2000, on the discovery of the South Shetland Islands – which are very south and remote and play such a big part in the whole Antarctic exploration story.

    The story of the Brig Williams voyage of 1819-20 referencing the Journal of Midshipman C.W. Poynter and other contemporary documents. As with all Hakluyt the editor does a special job with thorough and intense research and a quality honed narrative.

    Quarto, xvi, 232 pages with 31 illustrations and maps. Original blue cloth binding, good dust jacket a very good all round copy. Heavy item.

    In 1819 a general cargo vessel in sailing from Montevideo to Valparaiso ventured to the extreme south hoping for more favourable winds, spotting land at around 62 degrees south. On a second voyage they deliberately sough out the coastline taking soundings etc. Following these reports the Brig Williams was prepared to properly survey this new discovery under Master Edward Bransfield.

    The journal of Midshipman Poynter was recently found in New Zealand and is the backbone to this book. It is the only first hand account of a voyage during which the Antarctic mainland was sighted.

    South Shetlands all to like it’s namesake, cold and windy but more isolated.


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  • The Spirit Ridden Konde [Lake Nyasa Tanzania] – First Edition D.R. Mackenzie – 1925

    Longer title – The Spirit Ridden Konde. A record of the interesting but steadily vanishing customs & ideas gathered during twenty four year residence amongst these shy inhabitants of the Lake Nyasa region, from witch doctors, diviners, hunters, fishers & every native source.

    Published by Lippincott a first American edition 1925. A beautifully presented book with serious content regarding the Konde people of Tanzania.

    Octavo, 318 pages with folding map and 21 illustrations from photographs. Strikingly vivid blue cloth covered binding with gilt image of native to front, titles to spine. A very good copy.

    Mackenzie explores the complex relationship of the Konde people with the spirit world and how it affects their daily lives and their rituals and traditions. He traces their origins and how they migrated to the Lake Nyasa region. Good descriptions of initiation rites of both young men and women. A super book.

    No better book about the Konde of Lake Nyasa


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  • Mawson’s Papers – Innes and Duff – Robyn Mundy’s Copy.

    Mawson’s Papers – Innes and Duff – Robyn Mundy’s Copy.

    Thick softcover published by The Mawson Institute for Antarctic Research The University of Adelaide in 1990.

    Rather scarce and we are not sure why .. maybe they are all tied up with Institutions … maybe it was a pessimistic print run.

    Carries the modern book label of adventurer and writer Roby Mundy and a thoughtful note by the gift giver “happy hunting”. The kind message clearly relates to the research Mundy would have been doing for her novel “Nature of Ice” – all about the Mawson Polar expedition, Frank Hurley’s photographs and much more. Mundy also wrote a super book “Cold Coast” which revolves around the first female trapper in Svalbad … another Voyager favourite island group.

    Back to the Mawson Papers which are richly described in the unusually paginated work [probably circa 350 pages]. After a brief Forward by Jacka and a Biographical note by same we have various introductory papers re how to use the guide. Not a list of items – everything is described and put into context. Nicely illustrated from Hurley photographs, charts etc … it’s the complete business.

    Mawson no more comprehensive source of his work


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  • The Great Trek [The Expedition of the Jardine Brothers in Far North Queensland] – Ion Idriess – 1947 Edition

    The Great Trek [The Expedition of the Jardine Brothers in Far North Queensland] – Ion Idriess – 1947 Edition

    This is Ion idriess’s adaption of the incredible exploratory journey of the Jardine Brothers from Rockhampton all the way up to Somerset at the very tip of Cape York. They drove cattle all the way – their father already there by more comfortable means – he must have been a pretty confident parent. They had help of course but it was their termination that drove the party through – they didn’t all make it – it was pretty hostile on the way.

    Printed on “war paper” so has the characteristic even toning of the pages, a pity because its otherwise clean inside. The dust jacket a trifle worn – pretty good really and truly scarce.

    Published by Angus and Robertson. Octavo, 222 pages, illustrated frontispiece of an attack on the party.

    Idriess on the Jardines – a rare one.


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  • Kennedy – The Barcoo and Beyond 1847 – Beale – Signed by Dan Sprod

    Kennedy – The Barcoo and Beyond 1847 – Beale – Signed by Dan Sprod

    Published by the tremendous Blubber Head Press of Hobart and signed by the publisher Dan Sprod at the front

    The quality of the book is best bar none and the condition near fine. Octavo, 292 pages, nicely illustrate, some in colour, end paper maps an, a most unusual printed thick glassine dust cover, often chipped but here completely undamaged.

    The author was taken aback by the contents of fresh papers that surfaced from the descendants of Kennedy – and along with records held in Northern Ireland and the journals and papers at the Royal Geographical Society London the rich content of this book has been crafted.

    Edmund Besley Court Kennedy (1818-1848) was chosen by Mitchell as his second for the 1846 expedition into southern and central Queensland. He was given command of a further expedition the nest year to trace Mitchell’s “Victoria River” to an expected mouth in the Gulf of Carpentaria. This turned out not to be true, Kennedy proving that that the Victoria was in fact the Barcoo, the upper waters of Cooper Creek … and in doing so discovered the valuable Channel Country. He then went on to track the Werrego River and in a further expedition from Rockingham Bay in 1848, setting its sights on the very tip of the Cape York Peninsula, he was killed by aboriginals.

    Three folding maps near rear.

    Essential and Fine Kennedy


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  • Matthew Flinders Private journal 1803-1814 – the Mitchell Library Manuscript

    Matthew Flinders Private journal 1803-1814 – the Mitchell Library Manuscript

    This is the deluxe edition by Genesis Publications in association with Hedley Australia printed in 1986. Originally published with another work here presented alone. Quarter leather bound with gilt Flinders to front, impressed title to spine which has faux raised bands, all page edges richly gilt … a quality expected from Genesis.

    Fine condition. A heavy book unsuitable for Overseas purchase.

    Folio, 365 pages of facsimile and useful index at the end … Geoffrey Ingleton’s useful introductory note helps one in to the manuscript. This is Flinders in Mauritius incarcerated by the French on his way black to England to complete his charts and publication which was to change the name of the lucky continent to Australia. Flinders hand surprisingly readable which is what makes for a good facsimile manuscript … still needs a little patience and the index helps you around

    We say incarcerated, and he did have his freedom removed, but he had an easy time of it .. albeit rather lengthy and annoying.

    Flinders in Mauritius beautifully presented.


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