Journals of two expeditions of discovery in north-west and western Australia during the years 1837, 38, and 39, under the authority of Her Majesty's Government. Describing many newly discovered, important and fertile districts, with observations on the moral and physical condition of the aboriginal inhabitants, &c., &c.
Item ID 6869
London, T. and W. Boone, 1841. Two volumes in two. 8vo (14.0 x 22.3 cm). Two lithographed frontispieces, one being hand-coloured and depicting a western-Australian Aboriginal person; (2), xiv, 412 pp., (16); vii, 482 pp.; 20 lithographed plates of which five hand-coloured. Original uniform embossed cloth. Gilt title and vignette on the spines. Yellow endpapers. Rare first edition of this important Australian travel book by the explorer and politician George Grey (1812-1898). Both expeditions met with disaster. After landing at Hannover Bay, Grey was injured by a spear in a skirmish and forced to abandon the first expedition. The second, to explore the west coast, led to Grey’s discovery of the Gascoyne River but a hurricane forced the party to tramp overland to Perth. Grey later became Governor of South Australia, twice Governor of New Zealand, once Prime Minister and Governor of Cape Colony. Of importance is the appendix, or rather, a series of appendices titled A to F and including John Edward Gray's Contributions towards the geographical distribution of the Mammalia of Australia with notes on some recently discovered species ; a contribution by Gould on the ornithology, White's Notes on some insects from King George's Sound (Coleoptera and Lepidoptera), and, perhaps most important, Gray's well-illustrated Catalogue of the species of Reptilia and Amphibia hitherto described as inhabiting Australia, with a description of some new species from Western Australia, and some remarks on their geographical distribution . It depicts for instance, the lizard Moloch horridus and several other species of lizard, a turtle, snakes, and frogs. Armorial bookplate of Twisleton Fienner "Fortem posce animum" on the front pastedown of volume I. The front and rear of Volume I includes announcements of Gould's Birds of Australia and other books published by Boone. The front board of the first volume houses a pocket in which two, larger, folded, maps should be included, however, these are wanting. First volume spine sunned. Front hinge of Volume 1 tender, last few pages a bit foxed. In all good set, but, as often, without the maps. Cat. BM(NH) p. 734; Ferguson, 3228. First edition of an expedition narrative with chapters on the zoology and new, illustrated, herpetological species