Important acquisitions

Relation de deux voyages dans les Mers Australes & des Indes, faits en 1771, 1772, 1773 & 1774.

Author Kerguelen-Tremarec, Yves Joseph de, ?d 1734-1797.
Title Relation de deux voyages dans les Mers Australes & des Indes, faits en 1771, 1772, 1773 & 1774.
Imprint Paris : Knapen & fils
Date of Publication 1782
Language French
Notes This first edition is a rarity because it was suppressed soon after publication, as noted in 1808 by Boucher de la Richarderie: 'Cette relation, qoiqu'imprimee a Paris, est devenue / rare/ la distribution / fut arretee par ordre du gouvernement; et vraisemblablement la plus grande partie des exemplaires fut saisie et sesquestree: on entrevoit les causes de cette rigueur dans l'epitre dedicatoire qui est adressee "a la patrie"' (Bibliotheque universalle des voyages VI p. 405). The book summarizes two voyages undertaken by Kerguelen-Tremarec in search of a southern continent. The first expedition comprised the "Fortune", captained by Kerguelen, and the "Gros Ventre", under the command of François-Alesno de St Allouarn. On 12 February 1772 they discovered "La France Australes" (Iles Kerguelen). A landing was made from the "Gros Ventre" and possession taken for King Louis XV of France at Anse du Gros Ventre on the 14th of February. The two vessels separated: Kerguelen returned to France and Alesno sailed eastwards to New Holland (Australia), proving that no land of any consequence existed in the southern Indian Ocean north of latitude 50 degrees S. Upon returning to France, Kerguelen claimed to have discovered an extensive southern continent suitable for colonization. Alesno died soon after reaching Ile de France (Mauritius) in September 1772. Kerguelen's story was not challenged and led the French government to send him on a second expedition in 1773. This revisited and roughly charted the west coast of Iles Kerguelen. Kerguelen failed to fulfil any of the main objectives of his mission, one of which was to establish a colony. A court martial in 1775 sentenced him to 20 years' in prison (later reduced to six) and dismissed him from the service.
Shelfmark GB/A.3757
Reference Sources Kroepelien 641; Sabin 37618; Spence, Antarctic mescellany 650
Acquired on 13/01/03
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