ANSON, GEORGE. 1697-1762.
A Voyage Round the World in the Years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV ... by George Anson, Esq; Commander In Chief of a Squadron of His Majesty's Ships, Sent upon an Expedition to the South-Seas. London: John Knapton, 1748. 1 volume bound in 2. [26 (of 34)], 417, , + [2 directions to the binder] pp. With 42 folding or double-page engraved maps, plates and charts. Edited by Richard Walter. 4to (281 x 218 mm). 19th-century half calf and marbled boards, spines gilt, top edges gilt. Four leaves in preliminaries supplied in expert facsimile; offsetting from text, few minor blemishes, spine ends and corners scuffed.
First edition of one of the great accounts of 18th-century English circumnavigations. Ansons Voyage is well-known as a masterpiece of descriptive travel. Anson makes important discoveries, but his true vocation lies in intercepting Spanish treasure. He took a number of prize ships and a laden Manila galleon near the Philippines, but at heavy cost. Cox comments on the "famous and unfortunate" nature of the expedition, with seven of the eight ships that set out being lost rounding Cape Horn and on the coast of Chile, and more than two thirds of the 900 men that set out from England perishing. Cox I, p 49; Hill 1817 (2nd edition); Sabin 1625.