London: John Stockdale, 1787. Hardcover. Two volumes, comprising both the first & second edition of one of the earliest and most widely read descriptions of Australia, published to coincide with the departure of the First Fleet from England. The author was anonymous, but the work is often erroneously attributed to William Eden, because his "Principles of Penal Law" are included in the preface. The book was published before the arrival of the First Fleet, and the content consists of a digest of the works of previous writers of all that was known of New Holland. The interest lies in the author's preface, listing convict ships and its promotion of Botany Bay; it deals directly with the plan for settlement at Botany Bay, discussing new possibility of discoveries in natural history, and converting the natives, "who were never found to possess a single trace of religious worship...".
First edition: London, John Stockdale 1787. 8vo, (xxiv) 254pp, 2pp ads, 2 folding hand-coloured maps, a world map illustrating the route of the First Fleet "A General Chart of the Passage from England to Botany Bay in New Holland 1787" and the entire continent as then known, with an inset map of Botany Bay "A New Chart of New Holland on which are delineated New South Wales and a Plan of Botany Bay". Full original tree calf tastefully rebacked, slt. bumped o/w a beautifully clean copy. Ferguson 24; Holmes 66; Beddie 27.
(with) the Second edition, which includes an extra 10pp of preface. Title as above, but states "Second Edition" on title page. John Stockdale London 1787. 8vo, (xxxvi) 254pp, with one of the two maps "A General Chart of New Holland including New South Wales and Botany Bay..." with "Chart of Botany Bay with Its Adjacent Harbours in New South Wales", in period outline color, the printing inverted, south to north, and a variant to the map in the 1st edition. Without 2 pp ads called for in Ferguson. Bound in early half calf and marbled boards, a bit rubbed overall, internally very tight and clean. Beddie 28; Davidson, pp. 79¡V81; Ferguson 25; Holmes 66 (first edition).
The popularity of this account is demonstrated by the 2nd edition being issued the same year as the first & a second "second edition" was published in 1808. Item #5938