The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron ... containing An Account of the Great Distresses suffered by himself and his companions on the Coast of Patagonia, from the year 1740, till their arrival in England, 1746. With a description of St. Jago de Chile
Price: 3,200.00 AUD
London: S. Baker, 1768. Octavo, with a frontispiece; contemporary dark calf, various owners' signatures including a presentation to 'Arthur Cadogan from Genl. Fox'. First edition. 'Admiral Byron's narrative of the loss of the Wager is one of the most thrilling accounts in the language, and supplied his illustrious descendant with many particulars for the shipwreck in Don Juan' (Sabin). Byron, later a noted Pacific explorer in his own right, and eventually governor of Newfoundland, was known as "foul weather Jack"; he was a midshipman aboard the Wager and his narrative provides a notable supplement to the main account of Anson's voyage. Byron gives 'an account of pillaging, treachery, and murder by the crew, most of whom claimed that since their pay ceased the moment the ship was lost they were no longer subject to military discipline and it was every man for himself. It told of Byron's own living off the sea, without shelter or clothing, on the 'most unprofitable spot on the globe of the earth'; of his going without a full meal for thirteen months; of his living three years in the lands of the Spaniards... and of his eventual return to England... almost five years after the shipwreck' (R.E. Gallagher, Byron's Journal, Hakluyt Society, 1964). It was for this Byron (and not for the poet as was long assumed) that Cook named Byron Bay on the north coast of New South Wales. Old rebacking, calf rubbed, joints splitting, headband worn.