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Travel & Voyages

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  • Polynesian Navigation – A Symposium on Andrew Sharp’s Thoery of Accidental Voyages – Edited by Jack Golson

    Polynesian Navigation – A Symposium on Andrew Sharp’s Thoery of Accidental Voyages – Edited by Jack Golson

    Andrew Sharpe certainly stirred up the debate as to hoe the Pacific Islands may have been settled.

    A symposium in the 1960’s brought together some pretty good minds on the subject.

    Published by the Polynesian Society, Wellington, New Zealand in 1963. Being Memoir No 34, a Supplement to the Journal of the Society. Softcover, octavo, 153 pages plus bibliography. Three useful maps, two of which are folding. A little age, still a very good copy.

    Cartographic expert, Thomas M Perry’s copy with his discrete stamp top of front cover.

    The body of the work review the “Accidental Voyage Theory”’ – Parsonson; Primitive Navigation – Captain Hayen and Captain Hilder; Sailing Characteristics of Oceanic Canoes – Bechton; The Geographical Knowledge of the Polynesians and the Nature of Inter-Island Contact – Dening; Geographical Knowledge of Tahitian etc etc

    The Pacific Solved – Maybe


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  • The James of George Town – Signed Copy – Graeme Broxham

    The James of George Town – Signed Copy – Graeme Broxham

    Subtitled .. A colonial Maritime, Mercantile and family Correspondence 1813-1857.

    Soft cover published by the Navarine Press as one of the historic Roebuck Society publications – number 56. Limited to 500 copies and this one signed by the Editor compiler.

    All up 64 pages, with numerous relevant illustrations, map at rear. A total of 72 correspondences follow a lengthy historical introduction.

    Captain Joseph James first operated out of Sydney from 1811. He then became the first merchant of George Town, Van Diemens Land in the year 1820. He died penniless in 1844 but his son Captain William James rebuilt the family fortunes.

    Early Tasmanian History from the letters of the seafaring James’s of George Town.


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  • The “Southern Cross” Antarctic Expedition – Sir George Newnes – September 1899 (Plus some Original Arthur Conan Doyle)

    The “Southern Cross” Antarctic Expedition – Sir George Newnes – September 1899 (Plus some Original Arthur Conan Doyle)

    The very first article of substance published regarding what is regarded as the first Antarctic exploratory expedition of the Heroic era.

    Published in the September 1899 edition of the Strand Magazine. Here bound as original described as Volume 18 in the Series … six issues in one binding July to December 1899. Large octavo, over 800 pages, illustrated extensively. The full account was not published until 1901, naturally.

    This unique article occupies 11 pages and contains images from 22 original photographs.

    Led by Carsten Borchgrevinck, described as an Anglo Norwegian … who in fact was living in Australia and a teacher in outback New South Wales when he earlier had got the adventure bug and had been on the Bull Whaling Expedition. As a result of that likely one of the first people to set foot on the Antarctic.

    The Southern Cross expedition was essentially Borchgrevinck’s brainchild. He raised money in London through Sir George Newnes a wealthy publisher (hence this article). The whole affair incurred the wrath of the Royal Geographical Society – Markham was furious as he saw this as essentially a foreign interloper stealing the limelight (and money) from the RGS planned first Scott Expedition.

    Strand deals with the preparations, voyage out, reception in Hobart (they were well received) and the voyage south and first landing. The establishment of the first ever camp and the first furious blizzards. Australian Louis Bernachhi was a participant. He and another were the first to climb to the highest point on Cape Adare soon after arrival. Bernacchi almost lost his ears to frostbite in that first great blizzard. The article finished with the Southern Cross setting off before the thick of winter sets in and the team bedding down for the first long dark winter that any man had endured. Super stuff.

    Amundsen though highly of Borchgrevink but the RGS establishment continued to “cold shoulder” him. It was not until the 1930’s, after the death of Markham that they relented and awarded him their Patron’s medal. He was still alive to enjoy it.

    Little know early Polar content – First on the Antarctic.

    PS – As a bonus the volume includes the first publication of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Croxley Master” in three parts – complete.



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  • Matthew Flinders Private Journal (1803-1814)

    Matthew Flinders Private Journal (1803-1814)

    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 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 months 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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  • Robert O’Hara Burke and the Australian Exploring Expedition – Andrew Jackson 1860

    Robert O’Hara Burke and the Australian Exploring Expedition – Andrew Jackson 1860

    Scarce first edition of this essential Burke and Wills book published by Smith and Elder in 1862.

    Octavo, xxi, 229 pages with woodcut portrait of Burke and folding map, extensive Publishers Catalogue at the rear. Original green cloth covered binding, some internal foxing particularly the map and adjacent pages as usual. Very good original embossed green cloth covered binding, gilt title to spine bright and fresh. Unusual for a usually distressed book.

    Andrew Jackson may have known Burke personally, he was certainly an acquaintance of Burke’s father, they were officers in the same Regiment. The first chapter give an interesting account of the family military history and background on Robert O’Hara Burke.

    Written from papers, journals, letters, reports, interviews etc associated with the expedition. Nicely written carefully compiled.

    An important “companion work” to the Bentley published book based on Wills’s journal and letters.

    Scarce Burke and Wills contemporary reference


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  • The Loneliest Mountain – The Climbing of Mt Minto, Antarctica – Lincoln Hall

    The Loneliest Mountain – The Climbing of Mt Minto, Antarctica – Lincoln Hall

    First edition of the record of the first climbing of Mt Minto on Antarctica. A feat completed by a team of eleven the year before the publication of this book in 1989.

    Published by Simon and Schuster, Sydney. Octavo, 232 pages, profusely illustrated, many from photographs by Jonathan Chester. Very good condition.

    The narrative by Lincoln Hall is presented in journal style and is viewed by many as beautifully written. Forward by author Thomas Keneally who boldly states … “Lincoln Hall’s tale is one of the two or three best and most engrossing accounts ever written about travel in Antarctica”. We will stop there …

    Incredible modern era expedition – well told.


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