The Discovery of Tahiti / A Journal of the Second Voyage of H.M.S. Dolphin Round the World, under the Command of Captain Wallis, R.N., in the Years 1766, 1767, and 1768 / Written by her Master / George Robertson
Publisher: Hakluyt Society
xvii+292 pages foldout frontispiece and 5 other illustrations, with 4 maps of which one is a foldout, bibliography and index. Octavo (9" x 6") issued in original publisher's blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine and pictorial representation of the ship Victoria on the cover. Edited by Hugh Carrington. Works issued by the Hakluyt Society, Second Series, Number 98. First edition.
Hugh Carrington was born on 28 July 1895, the third son of the Vicar of West Bromwich. As a child he was taken to New Zealand with a large family of brothers and sisters when his father was appointed principal of a Theological College there. He was brought up in Christchurch (New Zealand) of which his father was later dean. At the age of 16 Carrington was admitted to the Royal Military College of Australia and for 10 years was a regular soldier; this was his true profession, which left its mark on him. He was severely wounded at Gallipoli, when aged 19. Between the Wars he led a roving life. He became intimate with Maori elders from whom he learned to study archaeology and folk-lore of Polynesia, an unusual hobby for a man of his type. Finding himself at a loose end in England in 1937 he began a systematic inquiry into the history of the Pacific Ocean of which he knew so much from his own observation and from Polynesian tradition, and so came to Captain Cook. Though without academic training or any great store of formal knowledge, he possessed a surprising aptitude for research. In his Life of Captain Cook Carrington's able analysis of Cook's character and methods and his first-hand knowledge of the islands and coasts visited by Cook in the southern Pacific attracted considerable attention, and the book was a success. In the same year he undertook to edit the Journal of George Robertson for the Hakluyt Society; but on the outbreak of the war rejoined the Army, in which he held a Reserve commission. During the War of 1939-45 he served as a Staff Officer, training troops in England and in India, but was too old for active command. Meanwhile, his interest in historical studies never flagged, he eagerly looked forward to the day when he would resume his regular place in the Library of the British Museum. It came in 1945 when he resumed work on Robertson's Journal and became constantly and enthusiastically busy among the naval records of the eighteenth century which are housed in the Public Record Office and the National Maritime Museum. From the valuable discoveries which he made there he built up material for three books on British exploration of the Pacific and the rise of Britain to supremacy on all the seas during the second half of the eighteenth century. He finished the material for this work shortly before his death.
Previous owner's name on front paste down, corners bumped, light edge wear, hinges rubbed, page ends soiled else a very good copy.
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