# 42349

TENCH, Captain Watkin (1758-1833)

A narrative of the expedition to Botany Bay; with an account of New south Wales, its production, inhabitants, &c. To which is subjoined, a list of the civil and military establishments at Port Jackson (James Bruce’s copy).

$7,500.00 AUD

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London : J. Debrett, 1789. Third edition, to which is subjoined a list of the civil and military establishments at Port Jackson. Octavo, full polished calf, spine in compartments with gilt tule, contrasting morocco title label lettered in gilt; edges a little rubbed and a few light scuffs; pp. viii; [iv], 148; a fine copy.

From the library of famed explorer James Bruce (1730-1794), his bookplate to front pastedown with library catalogue number; below it is the estate label of Kinnaird House, the ancestral home of the Bruces, with the date 1897.

Tench’s account of the voyage of the First Fleet to Australia is the earliest such journal published. The first edition appeared in print in April 1789, only a couple of weeks after the Fleet had returned to England.

An ’eminently readable book [which] is regarded by many authorities as the most accurate, orderly, vivacious, and valuable description of life in the colony in its first years’ (Hill).

Three London editions as well as a slew of European imprints appeared in the year 1789 alone. The third edition includes a two-page postscript written by Tench not present in the first two editions. Dated 1st October 1788, it includes reports from Norfolk Island and Port Jackson, and news of the discovery of flax in New Zealand.

The present copy has exceptional provenance, being from the library of James Bruce. After Captain James Cook, James Bruce was the most famous explorer of his day. After studying Arabic and Ge’ez in Spain, Bruce was appointed British Consul at Algiers, where he made a study of the ruins of Barbary. After further travels in the Levant, Bruce determined to discover the source of the Nile, which was believed to be in Ethiopia. Bruce’s epic adventures through North Africa and the Arab World are recounted in his publication Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile, cementing Bruce’s legacy as a central figure in European exploration and engagement with North Africa.

Ferguson, 50