York: Hamilton Adams, 1843. First edition. Hardcover. Fully signed presentation copy to Backhouse's cousin in 1845, Hugh Cloak.
The author, a member of the Society of Friends, was an erudite and observant traveller, writing in detail about his experiences. He & his partner Walker visited Tasmania, Norfolk Island, Moreton Bay, Port Macquarie, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Their important reports (some printed here in the Appendix) were sent to these administrators as well to the London Friends and the Colonial Office, and were used by reformers of prisons and Aboriginal settlements. Backhouse collected a valuable herbarium which he sent to Kew Gardens, for which a shrub was named "Backhousia."
Tall, thick 8vo, xviii, 560 pp, cxliv (appendix); frontis plus 15 etchings, including the wonderful folding plate of a chain gang in VDL, some plates with a little foxing, as is often seen in this book; 3 important large folding charts by James Wyld, (The World; Tasmania, or Van Diemen's Land; and New South Wales); numerous woodcut illustrations in text. Smith Friends, p. 153; Ferguson 3558: "Contains minute and valuable information." Later 3/4 blue leather over blue boards. Residue of sticky tape on inner hinge of yellow inscription ffep, bookplate of Dr. Ian Keith McGill. Very good overall. Item #12389