Instructions Nautiques Sur Les Côtes De La Patagonie, Depuis La Terre Des Etats, a L'est, Jusqu'au Cap Tres-Montes, a L'ouest, Y Compris Le Détroit De Magellan et la Côte du Large de la Terre-De-Feu. [i.e. English "Sailing directions for the coasts of Eastern and Western Patagonia"].

Paris, Imprimerie Royal, 1835. 8vo. Bound entirely uncut and unopened in a recent half cloth binding with gilt lettering to spine. 3 small stamps to title-page and light occassional marginal brownspotting, a fine copy. 247 pp. + folded map.

The very rare first French (and first overall) translation of King's important sailing directions for the Coasts of Eastern and Western Patagonia, being the first surveying voyage of HMS Beagle spanning from 1826 to 1830. The ship's second voyage, famous for carrying the recently graduated naturalist Charles Darwin around the world, visited many of the same regions as this first voyage. Incidentally, King’s son Philip Gidley King was along on the voyage, too. He would later be a midshipmen on the Beagle‘s second voyage, sharing a cabin and a life-long friendship with Darwin.

"King was now recognized as one of Britain's leading hydrographers and in February 1824 was made a fellow of the Royal Society. In May 1826 he sailed in command of H.M.S. Adventure, with H.M.S. Beagle in company, to chart the coasts of Peru, Chile and Patagonia. This arduous task lasted until 1830. Among King's subordinates were John Stokes, John Wickham and Owen Stanley. There were narrow escapes from shipwreck and the two commanders were under great strain. In August 1828 the captain of the Beagle shot himself. " (ADB).

"The ship’s adventure paralleled the second voyage - calling on many of the same ports - Cape Verde Islands, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo (and many others Darwin would see in the coming years) and creating detailed maps of several of the same regions. Though, as it was one of the first attempts to really try and survey Tierra del Fuego, the crew learned just how difficult the conditions were in that part of the world. A little over two years into the voyage (in summer of 1828) the crew was suffering from malnutrition as the Beagle‘s food supplies were virtually gone. And scurvy and infections were taking a heavy toll on the men. On August 1st, the commander, who was suffering from depression (along with the lack of food and other illnesses), shot himself in the head. He suffered for almost two weeks before he finally passed away.
Stokes suicide (and fear of a similar fate) was one of the main reasons FitzRoy decided to bring a social equal on the second voyage with him. Someone to help keep him sane. That someone, of course, was our Mr. Darwin."

Order-nr.: 56065

DKK 28.000,00