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  • Aphrodite’s Island – The European Discovery of Tahiti – Anne Salmond.

    Aphrodite’s Island – The European Discovery of Tahiti – Anne Salmond.

    The author a distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Auckland University.

    Large thick octavo, 537 pages, nicely illustrated. Published by the University of California Press. Los Angeles and London in 2010. A fine copy. A heavy book which may require and overseas postage surcharge.

    Comprehensive and sophisticated drawing on many references including Tahitian oral histories and artefacts as well as European manuscripts. A book that explores Tahiti and the European interactions with an outward perspective. The perceptions of the Tahitian and the fascinations of the Europeans.

    Tahiti and the arrival of the Europeans – a comprehensive work by Salmond


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  • Resolution – Captain Cook’s Second Voyage of Discovery – Peter Aughton.

    Resolution – Captain Cook’s Second Voyage of Discovery – Peter Aughton.

    The author was an engineer, he worked on the development of Concorde, so he brings a scientific style to his writing, which we like.

    Large octavo, 189 pages nice illustrations and several super charts. A fine copy.

    Cook’s second voyage plunged further South than anyone before him to solve the mystery of the Southernmost Continent. He may have been the first to see the Antarctic Continent south of South Georgia … the jury is still out.

    Never with only one objective in mind, Cook then set off for warmer climes and now familiar territory .. to him.

    A voyage full of curiosity … the first to properly carry the Harrison chronometer … the one that worked and the longitude solved because of the clock and because of Cook’s careful control over this new fangled precision instrument that looked like a large pocket watch. Difficulties arose, not the least the loss of men from the sister ship Adventure who lost their lives to cannibals.

    HMS Resolution apply named and Cook’s Second successful voyage south and into the Pacific.


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  • Discoveries – The Voyages of Captain Cook – Nicholas Thomas

    Discoveries – The Voyages of Captain Cook – Nicholas Thomas

    A first edition hardback of a different book about Cook in the Pacific

    … hard to believe given the multitude of volumes written about the great man and his three unrivalled voyages.

    However, here we have a different author a Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths London. So the perspective is different and now very topical. Cook’s encounters with the people of the Pacific were often harmonious but sometimes volatile .. the author seeks to put us in the position of Cook who as time progressed became more aware that his curiosity came with its own challenges.

    Large thick octavo, 468 pages, illustrations and charts. Published by Allen Lane, London in 2003. A fine copy.

    Captain Cook in the Pacific and his interactions with the people who lived there .


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  • The Voyage of the Catalpa – A Perilous Journey and Six Irish Rebels Escape to Freedom – Peter Stevens.

    The Voyage of the Catalpa – A Perilous Journey and Six Irish Rebels Escape to Freedom – Peter Stevens.

    A first edition hardback of a book now hard to find. Large octavo, 328 pages, illustrated, a hint browning to paper, otherwise fine in a completely perfect dust jacket.

    Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London in 2003.

    The year is 1875 and an American whaling barque, Catalpa, set out from New Bedford, Massachusetts on a year long secret mission to free a group of Irish rebels held in prison in Western Australian, to be known as “The Freemantle Six”.

    The six Irishmen who had taken the Fenian Oath to fight for Irish Independence has been held for eight years. The Catalpa made Freemantle and the six escaped … but it was far from over and many obstacles had to be overcome …

    Irish Rebels freed from Australian Jail by American sympathisers in the whaling ship Catalpa.


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  • Bligh – Master Mariner – Rob Mundle

    Bligh – Master Mariner – Rob Mundle

    A fine first edition of Rob Mundle’s excellent hardback book on Bligh. Large octavo, 368 pages with end paper illustrations and coloured illustrations inside. Published by Hachette, Sydney in 2010. Very good condition.

    The writer, a sailor from a sailing family writes about Bligh with a focus on detail and Bligh’s unrivalled skill as a navigator.

    He was at the forefront at an early age. With Cook on his fateful third voyage on the Resolution, it was a 24 years old Bligh who took command of the navigation on the voyage home. He was 34 when he found himself in conflict with Fletcher Christian resulting in the epic 47 day open boat voyage from Tonga to Timor. And, 36 when he commanded HMS Pandora around the world … among his company a young Matthew Flinders

    William Bligh – another perspective – and no less enlightening


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  • George Bass – Discovery of the Bass Strait – Commemorative Bronze Medal – 1968

    George Bass – Discovery of the Bass Strait – Commemorative Bronze Medal – 1968

    George Bass, Surgeon and Explorer carried out two voyages to confirm the Bass Strait and the separation of Tasmania (then Van Diemen’s Land) from mainland Australia – known affectionately in Tasmania as “The Other Island”.

    First, in 1797 he set off in an open whaleboat with a crew of six. They sailed to Cape Howe at the farthest point of South-east Australia and, from there sailed west along the Gippsland coast to Western Point, at the entrance to Port Phillip. Observations of the rapid tide and long south-western swell supported his view that a large Strait lay in front of him.

    In 1798 he set out again, with Matthew Flinders in the sloop Norfolk and circumnavigated Van Diemen’s Land. They visited the Derwent River which had previously been named by Captain John Hayes. On return to Sydney, Flinders promoted the naming of the Strait after Bass … the then Governor, John Hunter agreed.

    Bass’s later life was adventurous and possibly … likely … tragic, making the date of his death noted on the medal questionable.

    The medal was struck in 1968. It was produced by K.G. Luke & Sons, Melbourne for the Numismatic Association of Victoria. 160 examples were produced in this bronze form and a similar number in silver. 50mm in diameter, 48gms weight, with a high relief bust of Bass facing right, carrying his spyglass. On the reverse a delightful image of the whaleboat, the sloop Norfolk and the chart and route of the vessels, appropriately dated.

    Unusual medal to celebrate the achievements of George Bass


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