A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels … Asiatic Islands. Asiatic Islands, John Pinkerton.
A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels … Asiatic Islands

A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels … Asiatic Islands.

London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1812.

Frontispiece & 25 plates. 952 pp. 1 vols. 4to. Recently bound in half brown calf and marbled boards, spine labels gilt. Ex-library with small perforated stamp on title page and p.952, some browning of leaves, plates offset Hill, 1361; Ferguson, 473. Item #39885

Pinkerton's collection of voyages was published over the course of six years in a total of seventeen volumes. They are "of great value for its texts, which are sometimes given entire and sometimes abridged, with as much as possible of the traveler's own language" (Hill).

Volume eleven is dedicated to South East Asia and the Pacific, with much of it given over to the discovery of Australia and New Zealand. Excerpts are drawn from Dampier, Beekman, St. Avorinus, Pigafetta, Tasman, Cook, Peron and Pelsaert.

Pinkerton was something of a character. Having apprenticed to an Edinburgh solicitor, upon the death of his father and receipt of his inheritance, he immediately turned his back to a legal career and dedicated himself to literary matters. Through his works as a historian, poet and playwrite, he made friendships with the likes of Horace Walpole, Walter Scott and Edward Gibbon and through his controversial religious views and short temper he eventually lost them.

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