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  • New Light on the Discovery of Australia  as revealed by  the Journal of Captain Don Diego de Prado y Tovar

    New Light on the Discovery of Australia as revealed by the Journal of Captain Don Diego de Prado y Tovar

    We had mislaid this book – but now it’s found.

    Published in London by Henry Stevens, Son and Stiles, 1930. First edition, 262 pages, full page map, 2 fold out maps, 2 pages facsimile copy of pages of Prado’s Relacion, 2 large Prado fold out maps in pocket at rear.

    A sequel to Clement Markham’s work on Quiros and compiled from historical records since found.

    The opening paragraph sets the scene “ the recovery of the long-lost manuscript Relacion of Captain Don Diego de Prado y Tovar, who accompanied Pedro Fernandez de Quiros on his famous voyage of exploration in the South Seas in 1605-6, is undoubtedly the most important “find” of virgin historical material made in modern times. It furnished us for the first time with a detailed account of the discovery of Torres Strait and Northmost Australia, made during the continuation of the voyage to Manila by Prado and Torres after the parting of the ships at Espiritu Santo, whence Quiros returned to America””

    Maps include Cornelius de Jode’s Speculum Orbis Terrae of 1593, folding map of Wytfliet’s Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum 1597 Facsimiles of Four Prado Maps (in one) and a Sketch Map of the Voyage of Prado and Torres deduced from dates, latitudes etc.

    Fundamental re discovery of Australia … good maps


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  • The Black Bar – George Manville Fenn

    The Black Bar – George Manville Fenn

    A very nice copy of prolific writer George Manville Fenn’s “The Black Bar” a story of the British ship Nautilus patrolling the coast of West Africa deterring American slave ships.

    Published by Sampson Low, London, octavo, 312 pages with the odd illustration. No date, a prize label at front suggests 1930’s – at the rear we have a Jules Verne promotion that suggest before 1928. The prized was given in Battery Point – maybe an indicator as to how long it took books to arrive at these distant parts.

    Beautifully written as expected from Fenn. The story not at all uncivilised and a reminder of things that go on in the world – to this day.

    The Nautilus off the Coast of Africa doing good work ..


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  • The Flight of the Small World [Ballooning Across the Atlantic] – Eiloart and Elstob

    The Flight of the Small World [Ballooning Across the Atlantic] – Eiloart and Elstob

    First edition published by Hodder, London in 1959. Octavo, 256 pages, lots of illustrations from original photographs of the adventures and mishappenings, also great technical drawings of the design and gear that was constructed purely around this project. Without the dust jacket but with all the action.

    Taking off from the Canary Islands and making it 1,500 miles and almost all the way to Barbados before a calamitous ditching – eventually towed the final stretch by a friendly fishing boat.

    About a third of the book taken up by all of the design, testing and preparatory work which makes for an interesting lengthy introduction to a truly remarkable adventure. Stuff for movie makers.

    Ballooning the Atlantic – we should all give it a go!.


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  • Admiral of the Ocean-Sea (Columbus) – Mary Johnston – 1927

    Admiral of the Ocean-Sea (Columbus) – Mary Johnston – 1927

    A very good copy of the 1927 edition published by Butterworth, London. Rare with the dust jacket.

    A novelisation of the adventures and achievements of Columbus. Octavo, 319 pages, red cloth covered boards protected by a pretty good dust jacket – as we say a scarcity. Double page chart of the voyages near the front. Some age to page edges otherwise super.

    The discovery of America funded by Isabella of Spain. Told through the eyes of Jayme de Marchena a common seaman who rises to be ship’s physician and Columbus’s trusted friend and adviser.

    Columbus and his adventures and discoveries.


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  • Voyages and Discoveries – William Dampier – the Argonaut Edition 1931

    Voyages and Discoveries – William Dampier – the Argonaut Edition 1931

    There were two printings of this work by Argonaut Press London this is the upmarket edition spine vellum bound.

    Published in 1931, printed by Morrison of Edinburgh, quarto, xxxvii, 376 pages. Printed on fine Japon vellum paper. Wine-red cloth bound with gilt device to front, true vellum spine with gilt titling. Limited to 975 copies. Woodcut on title by William Monk. Folding maps all present. A very good copy of a desirable Dampier. What looks like toning on the map is just our scanner on the polished japon paper … it’s as clean as a whistle.

    With a long introduction and notes by Dampier expert Clennell Wilkinson. In our view this introduction is what sets this lovely book apart from the numerous facsimiles even those of fine printed quality.

    Wilkinson explains the rather odd order of Dampier’s recollections … as they are not chronological but likely driven by the need to get paid in-between various adventurous explorations. Some early Dampier in Central America where he had to roll his sleeves up – and also his diaries. At one time in desperation whilst lost in Central American rain forests Dampier had to swim several raging creeks. To protect his diaries he used a sealed bamboo tube in which the rolled up diaries travelled. He was making notes early in life a habit he kept going until near the end. Piracy was soon his trade and then on to fame and sponsored explorer. Whilst back in England he mixed with the rich la-di-da and was sought after for upper crust social gatherings. Jonathan Swift likely knew him maybe not quite as the cousin he suggests of Gulliver. Swift was some fifteen years younger and would have read Dampier’s words which provided the inspiration for the settings of the “Travels

    Sorry rambling – specifically, Part I Voyage to Achin, Malacca and Tonquin; Voyage to Tenan and a journey inland to Cachoa; After Tonquin – Cambodia and Bencouli then Achin in detail. Part II – Voyage to Campeachy, Jucatan, Alcranes and the Island of Pines. Various adventurous activities – Indians etc. Part II The [famous] Discourse of Winds, Storms, Seasons, Tides and Currents etc. Maps of the Streights of Malacca; Bay of Campechy; View of the General and Coasting Trade-Winds in the Atlantik and Indian Oceans; View of the General and Coasting Trade-Winds in the great South Ocean.

    William Dampier if only he was alive today.


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  • Together Alone (In the Pacific) – Ron Falconer.

    Published by Bantam in 2004, an only softcover. A super story about a great man and his family.

    Ron Falconer born in Scotland joined the RAF, became an architectural draftsman and then designed and built his one boat. A special yacht he named Fleur d’Ecosse. He went sailing, alone, perhaps, we are told, 50,000 miles. He met the beautiful Anne and he took her to the Caroline Atoll in the northern reaches of French Polynesia. There they had a family, built their Robinson Crusoe style house and lived the life we all dream of.

    Octavo, 255 pages, with maps and a handful of nice images from photographs taken in their heavenly Paradise.

    We think Ron now lives in France but until recently lived at Moorea … and could be heard singing at the Kareka Bar … he has a super voice in the Simon and Garfunkel sort of style … check him out on Youtube,

    A Scotsman in Paradise with the voice of an Angel.


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