Special Collections Exhibitions
Enlarging the prospects of happiness
  Great cities of Italy
  Pompeii & Vesuvius
  Philosophy of travel
  The picturesque
  England & Scotland
  Ireland & Wales
  Women travellers
  North & South America
  Travel publishers
  Twentieth-century travel writing
  Check lists
Travelling around the world has always been the ultimate journey. Steve Fossett's persistent attempts with his high-tech balloons show that the spirit is still with us, and that the feat is still impressive when undertaken without the assistance of jet engines. All the accounts in this case display the prestige accorded circumnavigation, and attest to the strong, and financially rewarding, public interest in such accounts.

A true and impartial journal of a voyage to the South-seas and round the globe

Pascoe Thomas, a sailor on Anson's circumnavigation, managed to publish his account three years before the official version. Like many travellers before and after him, Thomas sought to capitalise on what he had seen by publishing his experiences by subscription, thereby increasing both his risk and profit in publishing. His understated practicality heightens our sense of eighteenth-century sailors as tough salts. In this passage he describes the capture of the Manilla Galleon, with its treasure of over £300,000 in silver (accounted for to the pence in the first appendix). The final sentence concludes dispassionately that 'the Sight of so many dead Men and their Blood is a very great Discouragement to the Survivors'. Given the otherwise dismal failure of Anson's voyage (the loss of all but one of the six ships, and of more than half his men), the account called for a restrained narrator.
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A polite traveller and British navigator

This 12° book, containing two volumes of an eight-volume collection, highlights the strong interest in circumnavigations among readers of every rank. The frontispiece captures the compelling sense of danger, while the title-page enumerates the well-established pantheon of British heroes of the high seas. And this title-page only describes half the book; the other half describes two polar voyages. Such abridged reprints were well within the reach of the average reader, and judicious extracts ensured that they were frequently more engaging to read than the bulkier and more expensive originals.
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Sydney Parkinson, botanical draughtsman

Sydney Parkinson, botanical draughtsman on Cook's first voyage, died before returning to London, and his papers found their way to the library of Joseph Banks. Parkinson's brother, Stanfield, eventually obtained the papers, after a bitter public quarrel and court battle with Banks and Hawkesworth, and put out this magnificent book. Since it went to a second edition, it is likely that Stanfield made some money from the venture, and ultimately ensured that Sydney Parkinson's depictions of Australia and New Zealand became well-known treasures.
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William Dampier, buccaneer

William Dampier was the most successful English buccaneer, redeeming his reputation as a mercenary adventurer by aspiring to the role of scientific explorer. This world map, drawn by Herman Moll, the premier cartographer of his day, shows the known outlines of Australia and New Zealand based on the voyages of Dampier and Tasman. On the whole, Dampier and his fellow sailors were not impressed by their encounters with Australian aborigines, but his accounts greatly encouraged British interest in exploration of the South Seas.
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A complete collection of voyages and travels

This magnificent collection draws upon all the major European compendia and required the combined financial support of multiple booksellers. The royal licence facing the title-page lent further authority to the publication, though it is hard to imagine readers finding a comfortable way to peruse such a weighty tome, and it must have served more frequently as a reliable reference text rather than as a light read.
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Arched Rock, on the Coast of New Zealand. Parkinson, Sydney, 1745?-1771.A journal of a voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty's ship, the Endeavour. 1773. de Beer Ec/1773/P

Arched Rock, on the Coast of New Zealand. Parkinson, Sydney, 1745?-1771.
A journal of a voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty's ship, the Endeavour. 1773.
de Beer Ec/1773/P
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