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Naval – Military – Pre-20th Century

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  • Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland; from the dissolution of the last Parliament of Charles II till the Capture of the French and Spanish Fleets at Vigo – Three Volumes – Sir John Dalrymple -1790

    Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland; from the dissolution of the last Parliament of Charles II till the Capture of the French and Spanish Fleets at Vigo – Three Volumes – Sir John Dalrymple -1790

    A new edition 1790 updating his first offering about twenty year earlier that finished at the time of the sea battle of La Hogue. Published by Strahan & Cadell, Bell, Creech & Balfour, London and Edinburgh, 1790.

    Three volumes, octavo, a beautiful set in contemporary mottled calf, banded spine with red morocco title label and green morocco volume number lozenge. Almost edible.

    A vert attractive set of an important work with original owner name Alexander Fraser Tyler, a distinguished Scottish Advocate at the head of the title.

    Sir John Dalrymple (1726-1810) was the 4th Baron of Cousland and Scottish Advocate, Judge and Chemist. He studied at Edinburgh and Cambridge and was a friend of David Hume and Adam Smith. In writing this large work he had access numerous original manuscript documents.

    Of Australian interest the volumes contain … “An Account of an Intended Expedition in the South Seas by Private Persons in the Late War” which relates to Sir John Dalrymple’s attempts to persuade merchants of Glasgow to organise a privateering expedition against Spain in the Pacific. There are numerous references to New Holland and the discoveries of James Cook.

    Because of these early Australian references these volumes are included in Ferguson’s bibliography of all books Australian at number 78.

    Important 18th Century memoir in fine style with Australian interest and important provenance.

    About the first owner Alexander Tytler

    Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouslee (1747-1813) was a Scottish advocate, judge, writer who serve as Professor of Universal History, Greek and Roman Antiquities at Edinburgh University. In 1790, around the time he purchased these volumes, he became Judge Advocate of Scotland and in 1802 he became a Lord of Session in the Scottish Courts. He was a friend of Robert Burns and famously persuaded Burns to remove several lines from “Tam o’Shanter”’ which had insulted the legal profession.


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  • The Golden Ocean – Patrick O’Brian

    The Golden Ocean – Patrick O’Brian

    In 1956 Patrick O’Brian first published his novel based on the 1740 Anson Voyage Round the World. Over time he saw improvements and corrections in nautical matters which resulted in this reissue through Macmillna, London in 1970.

    Octavo, 253 pages with a map of the “real” voyage. Name cut from corner of free end paper otherwise a good to better copy.

    O’Brian vies with C.S. forester as the leader in this genre. If you have not read Anson’s voyage you will after reading this!

    Best read near water … a heart thumping adventure


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  • Matthew Flinders Private Journal

    Matthew Flinders Private Journal

    Matthew Flinders Private Journal from 17 December 1803 at Isle of France to 10 July 1814 at London

    Published by the Friends of the State Library of South Australia, a first edition 2005.

    Edited and with an Introduction by Anthony J. Brown and Gillian Dooley. Foreword by Witgar Hitchcock. Preface by Paul Brunton.

    Large octavo, xxxiv, 566 pages, coloured frontispiece & 12 colour plates, 26 black and white illustrations, folding map (London, showing Flinders’ residences etc) & another in rear pocket (Flinders’ General Chart of Australia, or Terra Australia). Bound in blue cloth covered boards, gilt stamped on spine, blind decorations on boards. One of 850 copies. A substantial book in very good if not fine condition.

    After useful introductions we start with the last few days on the Cumberland and Flinders’ plans and expectation on arrival at Mauritius. Unfortunately, the Captain-General Decaen, was very suspicious as to the motives of Flinders having arrived in such a “small” ship and carrying papers for the “Investigator”. Consequently, his incarceration began the next morning when he was taken to the Café Marengo which first appeared to be a jail but turned out to be a tavern. Three and a half month later he was transferred to the Maison Despaux and then finally on 25th August 1805 to Plaines Wilhems where he would stay until 19th March 1910 before being released. His journal continues through his journey back to England and the final period during which he was preparing and revising his monumental work for publication.

    Eight appendices are of further interest … Flinders’ Passport from the French Government; A record of his Interrogation; the Captain-General’s Report; Flinders’ letter regarding Thomy Pitot; Avis do Conseil d’Etat; Flinders’ Parole; Question relative to the Isle de France by Vice Admiral Bertie and Flinders’ Last illness and the final five months to July 1814 by Stephen Milazzo.

    Flinders’ own words and what a story they make


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  • Admiral Hornblower – C.S. Forester – First Printing 1966

    Admiral Hornblower – C.S. Forester – First Printing 1966

    Published by Michael Joseph, London 1966. Thick octavo, 758 pages. Very good condition albeit dust jacket, designed by Charles Gorham, a little rubbed to edges.

    A first edition of this compilation of four Hornblower titles … Flying Colours; The Commodore; Lord Hornblower and Hornblower in the West Indies.

    A feast of Hornblower


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  • Hornblower and the Atropos – C.S. Forester – First Edition 1953

    Hornblower and the Atropos – C.S. Forester – First Edition 1953

    Published by Michael Joseph, London a first edition 1953. Octavo, 302 pages. Good to better condition, some light marking in the ends .. overall a very presentable first, dust jacket protected in Brodart as are all our jackets.

    Fifth in the series and Hornblower gets his first command the 22 gun sloop Atropos and leads the funeral procession of Nelson before taking on the French and the Spanish.

    Hornblower first edition delight


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  • Journal of a Voyage to the South-Seas [One of the Anson’s Voyage Cornerstone Books} – Pascoe Thomas

    Journal of a Voyage to the South-Seas [One of the Anson’s Voyage Cornerstone Books} – Pascoe Thomas

    This is a great example of the Israel Facsimile Voyages published in Amsterdam in 1971. The original account from which this faithful copy was made was published by Birt, Newbery et al London in 1745.

    Octavo, Following a Preface and a very lengthy list of subscribers, 347 pages plus various very useful appendices. Fine condition.

    Pascoe Thomas described himself a “teacher of the Mathematicks on board the Centurion”.

    The Title Page contain a nice precis of the volume … “A True and Impartial Journal of a Voyage to the South-Seas, and Round the Globe, in His Majesty’s Ship the Centurion, Under the Command of Commodore George Anson. WHERINH … All the material Incidents during the said Voyage, from its Commencement in 1770 to the Conclusion in 1744, are fully and faithfully related, having been committed to Paper at the Time they happen’d. Together with some historical Accounts of Chili, Peru, Mexico, and the Empire of China; exact Descriptions of such Places of Note as were touch’d at; and Variety of occasional Remarks. To which is added … A large and general Table of Longitudes and Latitudes, ascertain’d from accurate Observations, or (where these are wanting) from the best printed Books and Manuscripts taken from the Spaniards in this Expedition: Also the Variations of the Compass throughout the Voyage, and the Soundings and depths of water along the different Coasts: And lastly, several curious Observations on a Comet seen in the South-Seas on the Coast of Mexico.

    So there we have it … except we also have an appendix which tabulates the massive amounts of gold Anson accumulated from his exploits. This is the only account of the voyage to contain that detail.

    Pascoe Thomas .. completes the Anson story


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