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Pacific Islands

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  • Rare Pacific Voyage Books from the Collection of David Parsons – Part I. Dampier to Cook.

    Rare Pacific Voyage Books from the Collection of David Parsons – Part I. Dampier to Cook.

    Hordern House have done a number of similar works. This by far the best. Published in 2005.

    English born David Parsons was executed at Corpus Christi, Oxford. He spent his adult life in the USA were applied his mathematical skills as a top actuary. The collection written up by the House was the first of two parts (see our copy of Part II sold separately), the most important works e would say in chronological order up to Cook.

    Parsons had decided to focus in on early Spanish/ Portuguese exploration. The proceeds from this magnificent collection would have provided a pretty healthy budget.

    Octavo, unpaginated, circa 125 pages, magnificently illustrated. Contains all of the key works one would expect, often of super quality or special provenance. Generally organised as follows … Dampier to Swift; The Anson Expedition (delicious); The South Pacific before Cook; The North Pacific before Cook; Cook. As always an excellent description of content and relevance of each work with a helpful selection of images

    Super reference a collection to envy for sure.


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  • The Japanese Occupation of Rabaul – This Crowd Beats Us All – Bishop Leo Scharmach M.S.C.

    The Japanese Occupation of Rabaul – This Crowd Beats Us All – Bishop Leo Scharmach M.S.C.

    A very scarce account of the Japanese occupation of New Britain in WWII.

    Polish born Leo Scharmach was a hero and undoubtedly saved many lives I New Britain and the civilian prisoner of war camp later established at Ramale. He held his own against the invading Japanese using humour, irony and strength of character … convincing the Japanese the local mission was still a German Mission and at one time that he was a envoy of Adolf Hitler. He did fight for the Germans during WWI, receiving an Iron Cross which he displayed to Japanese officers to good effect.

    This octavo book was published by The Catholic Press, Sydney in 1960. 296 pages, illustrated from photographs and drawings. A bit marked in the ends mainly from old tape residue holding the now chipped and torn dust jacket … but a jacket of real rarity.

    Very readable and informative

    WWII and the Japanese in New Britain … the account of forgotten hero Bishop Leo Scharmach.


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  • Must We Fight? – Ion L. Idriess – First Edition, Signed, Rare, Very Good Condition

    Must We Fight? – Ion L. Idriess – First Edition, Signed, Rare, Very Good Condition

    A very good copy of a scarce Ion Idriess book. Published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney in 1939. Signed boldly by Idriess on the Title Page … “To Mrs Van Cleef with cheery memories from Australia – Ion L Idriess Sydney 1939”. Van Cleef was the wife of a wealthy Chicago industrialist that had connections with Idriess.

    Octavo, 223 pages, complete dust jacket albeit a bit browned at spine and around edges otherwise clean. Very clean internally bar a mark bottom inside title. Endpaper maps – “Australia in the Pacific” to front and strange one at rear “An Arresting Comparison: Australia and the European Countries Drawn to Scale”.

    In some ways a prophetic book. The Authors Note starts … “This book is written simply because our country may be in danger …”. WWI veteran Idriess saw danger in the Pacific. Chapter headings help understand the flow of the book … a selection… How will the Enemy Come?; Action in Defence; Defending our Cities; Dodging Bomb and Shell Fire; Fighting at Darwin or New Zealand; Should the Dutch east Indies Fall; Protecting the Isolated States; Fighting from Cover; Trained Man versus Untrained; Deadly Shooting; The Sniper; Australia Needs Submarines; Australia’s Land Bridget to Asia; Defence Could Develop New Industries etc.

    We wonder how this book was received at the time … maybe the fact that Idriess was called to produce succinct accounts about fighting techniques after war broke out, tells us that top brass thought highly of this work.

    Signed sought after Idriess first edition.


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  • Trimaran to Tahiti – D.E. Barry-Evans

    Trimaran to Tahiti – D.E. Barry-Evans

    Doug Barry-Evans preferred to be called DE. A WWII naval aircraft pilot born in the UK but spent most of his life in New Zealand.

    A First edition 1978, published by Richards o Auckland, NZ. Small quarto, 216 pages plus appendices. Really well illustrated and with really good technical information regarding the boat in the back section. A very good copy

    From New Zealand to Tahiti an 1,800 mile there and back voyage with lots of excitement and adventure along the way.

    A special sailing adventure with good detail on the islands visited


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  • The Story of the Pacific – Van Loon – 1940

    The Story of the Pacific – Van Loon – 1940

    First Edition published by George Harrap, London 1940.

    Octavo, 315 pages, illustrated from the authors sketches (his usual style) and with end paper maps. Gift inscription across front map otherwise a very good unjacketed copy.

    Hendrik Willem Van Loon (1882 -1944) was a prolific Dutch / American writer of historical works. His language is really good and he gets to the point … the publishers of Roget’s Thesaurus specifically honoured him in publications after his death as being the person that most communicated new entries to them… quite an honour.

    Here he is writing about the Polynesians and how they came to be in the Pacific … the places they went to and the places they avoided. Amongst all that is elements relating to the discovery of Australia … an interesting and of overlooked work.

    The Van loon theories regrading the populating of the Pacific.


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  • Two Voyages to the South Seas – Dumont D’Urville – 2 Volumes

    Two Voyages to the South Seas – Dumont D’Urville – 2 Volumes

    Two large volumes published by the University Press Melbourne 1987. Cream linen covered boards protected by a slipcase, a flicker of age on the spines otherwise very good condition.

    Reissued from the original French translated by Helen Rosenman.

    Volume I – 312 pages deals with the voyages of the Astrolabe 1826-1829 and,

    Volume II – pages 313-634 the voyage of the Astrolabe and Zelee 1837-1840.

    Nicely illustrated with 29 maps and charts and 56 plates – some in colour. This is the first account in English of two important voyages to Australasia the Pacific and the Antarctic. The Astrolabe visited Hobart Town, Jervis Bay and Port Jackson whilst the second voyage went to Port Essington as well as Tasmania (again) and the Antarctic. A superb account of the people and natural history encountered. An essential Antarctic item for that element.

    Two Special French Voyages by D’Urville


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