Paris: Pougens, 1795. First French. Hardcover. John White was the British surgeon on board one of the First Fleet vessels transporting convicts in Australia. The first edition of his book "Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales..." was published in London in 1790 in a beautifully illustrated quarto volume. This is the first translation into French, by Charles Pougens, much enlarged by Pougens with translator's notes and extensive (over 250pp) commentary, mostly on natural history.
White's account was highly successful, with translations into German, Swedish and French. White was an avid amateur naturalist; while tending to the seriously ill convicts arriving in the Second Fleet in 1790, he also managed to keep journals describing and illustrating the natural history of the colony, and to send back specimens and drawings to England. Contents include a description of the voyage itself, arrival in Botany Bay, Port Jackson, a 2 1/2 page description of the kangaroo (pp 166 - 169), and descriptions of the native peoples ("les indiens").
8vo, 2 volumes bound in one. Half title, (xii) 206pp (&) ii, 256pp, 4pp index. Scattered foxing and a triangular waterstain along the lower hinge of pages along the binding. In the original Swiss lending library binding, with "Societe de Lecture" in gilt at the foot of the spine. The Reading Society was founded in 1818, in the tradition of the literary circles of the Enlightenment, by the leading intellects of Geneva.
Original half brown calf & gilt title label calf and marbled boards, spine darkened, good overall. Ferguson 231 calls for 2 plates; this copy has no plates - it may well have been issued without plates. Library stamp on title page of the Societe de Lecture, Geneve. Hill 324. OCLC: 898869247/249 cite only internet resources for the book. Good +. Item #2479