Two Years At Sea: Being the Narrative of a Voyage to the Swan River and Van Diemen's Land, During the Years 1829, 30, 31.
London: Richard Bentley, 1834. First edition. Hardcover. One of the very few descriptions of the New Settlement of the Swan River published in the 1830s, giving an especially vivid description of the reaction to the arrival and land claims of Thomas Peel.
Roberts dedicates Chapters IX and X to the events around the arrival of Thomas Peel, one of the very early settlers of Western Australia, who arrived 3 days after the deadline stipulated for his claim to "the envied tract": "not a speck denoting the approach of a sail was to be seen, and the time [Peel's deadline] being fully expired, the envied tract was divided and given to the greatest claimants, with the right of priority. Three days after Mr. Peel arrived!" (p91).
She describes "Mr. Peel's Grant", "Former Settlers claim and divide it", "Mr. Peel's Arrival", "His Surprise and Disappointment", "Calls it Peel Town", "Search for Land", "None to be Found", "Employment of his Party", "Issue of Paper Money", "Brighter Prospects to be hoped for as regards Settlers"; and "Speculators of Peel Town".
The account is the best known work of the English author and illustrator Jane Roberts (1792 - ca. 1871). Roberts first became familiar with the Swan River Settlement when she assisted her brother Peter Roberts with his correspondence during the time he served as Deputy Assistant Commissary - General of Stores, Van Diemen's Land. 29 August 1829 she sailed on the Winstead with her brother Peter to join their other brother John Roberts who was living inTasmania.
Roberts describes the approach to New Holland, the town of Freemantle (sic), the living conditions including the lack of vegetables & fresh meat. She describes the obstacles and life style of a typical Settler, interactions with Natives, a walk to Freemantle, kangaroos, Advantages & Disadvantages of Convict Labour. A second edition was issued in 1837, a much smaller volume with only 240 pages.
8vo, xvii, ads pp, errata slip, frontispiece, and 1 other aquatint plate, 396pp. Sympathetically rebound in three quarter tan calf and tan buckram. Gilt title and gilt decorated raised bands at spine. Wide margined and entirely uncut.
OCLC: 316555466 (1 copy) at the National Library of Scotland. Trove 2891829. Ferguson 1838. Deaccessed from the Sion College Library, with their stamp on verso of title page. Very good overall. Item #24155