Paris, Printed for G.G.J. and J. Robinson, 1785, 2 parties in 4°, de XXVIII-368pp.ill. d'un grande carte et de 3 planches gravées h.t., & VIII-354 (chiffrées 350) 1f. d'errata, ill. de 7 planches gravées d'animaux h.t., relié en 1 vol. pl. veau raciné époque, dos lisse finement orné, coiffe sup. anciennement restaurée (peu visible) et petite mouillure ne marge des dernières planches sinon, bel exemplaire finement relié.
Rare first English edition. Anders Sparrman was a Swedish naturalist, disciple of Carl Linnaeus. He traveled to the Cape in early 1772 on a botanical expedition sponsored by the Swedish government and made several excursions into the country in search of natural history specimens. When James Cook arrived there later in the year at the start of his "second voyage", he was taken on as an assistant naturalist to Johann and Georg Forster. For the next three years he served with Cook on his famous reconnaisance of the South Pacific (1772-1775). His account includes a mention of a hairbreath escape from the collision of Cook's two ships, the Adventure and the Resolution, not recorded elsewhere. Then returning to Cape Town, he financed a journey into the interior (Cox). Sparrman's account of his explorations through Kaffararia is important for its natural history and anthropological observations of Southern Africa and is, according to Theal, "the most trustworthy account of the Cape Colony and the various races of people then residing in it, that has been published in the 18th century". It includes a brief glossary of the Hottentot language and full page plates of indigenous animals. Also Sparrman used the newly Linnaen system of classification for the new varieties of plants and animals he collected. His account also includes some of the earliest ethnological studies of the native peoples, mentionning the "cruelty of the treatment of the slaves by the lower classes of the colonists." ¶ Mendelssohn II, 414-15 - Hill 1615 - Rosove 316.A1, "Scarce."
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