RICHARD, Jérôme; [Babié de Bercenay, François, 1761-ca. 1830, editor]
Voyages chez les peuples sauvages, ou l’homme de la nature : histoire des peuples sauvages des deux continens et des naturels des isles de la mer du Sud.
Paris : Laurens aîné, 1808. Second edition. Three volumes, octavo, contemporary calf-backed papered boards (rubbed), spines with contrasting leather labels lettered and numbered in gilt, hinges a little weakened, pp xxxi, 464; 566; 480; illustrated with engraved plates; second volume with mild water stain at centre margin of first few leaves (not affecting legibility of text), otherwise a crisp, clean set. Ferguson, 475. Scarce.
First published in 1801, Richard’s post-Enlightenment work is a very early study of the “savage” cultures of the Americas and Oceania, in essence an attempt to describe and understand the non-European mind. Extensive references are made to the indigenous cultures of the Society Islands, Sandwich Islands, Friendly Islands, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, New Zealand and the Pelew Islands.
Copies are recorded in three Australian collections (National Library of Australia; National Museum of Australia; State Library of New South Wales).