London: John Murray, 1875. 8vo. First edition. Original green cloth, gilt. Folding map, frontispiece and nine further illustrations. Corner tips and spine ends pushed and a little rubbed. Ink ownership label to top corner of front pastedown. Contents clean and fresh. Near fine. Item #5037
A lovely copy of the uncommon first edition of Isabella Bird's travels in the Hawaiian Archipelago. This was her second book after An Englishwoman in America which was, like all her books, published by John Murray. An Introductory Chapter is followed by 31 letters to her sister Henrietta (to whom the volume is dedicated). 'I was travelling for health, when circumstances induced me to land on the group, and the benefit which I derived from the climate tempted me to remain for nearly seven months. During that time the necessity of leading a life of open air and exercise as a means of recovery, led me to travel on horseback to and fro through the islands, exploring the interior, ascending the highest mountains, visiting the active volcanoes, and remote regions which are known to few even of the residents, living among the natives, and otherwise seeing Hawaiian life in all its phases.' The islands 'are so advantageously placed as to be pretty nearly equidistant from California, Mexico, China, and Japan. [...] They were discovered by Captain Cook in 1778. [...] The native population has declined from 400,000 as estimated by Captain Cook in 1778 to 49,000, according to the census of 1872.' A popular success, reprinted many times, this remains an important and much-quoted work on the Hawaiian Archipelago.
Price: £875.00Return to search results