In 1764 the Hon. John Byron was commissioned by the Admiralty to sail to the South Atlantic to search for Pepys's Island and the Southern Continent. He was then to continue into the Pacific itself and look for a possible North-west passage. Although he rediscovered the Falkland Islands, it was after the French had done so under Bougainville, and he made no attempt to search for a North-west passage at all, but sailed straight on round the world, making no discoveries of any importance. The journal which Byron kept during his voyage has been edited and annotated by Dr Gallagher. In his Introduction he describes earlier voyages of a similar nature and sketches the background to this voyage. He assesses Byron's achievement and considers why he disobeyed his orders. Apart from the Journal, the Admiralty's 'secret instructions' to Byron are also printed here, as well as Byron's letter to the Admiralty explaining why he was sailing straight on. There is an appendix by Dr Helen Wallis on the Patagonian giants. This is a new print-on-demand hardback edition of the volume first published in 1964.
Routledge is pleased to be the publisher for the Hakluyt Society.
The Hakluyt Society has for its object the advancement of knowledge and education, particularly in relation to the understanding of world history. The society publishes scholarly editions of primary sources on the 'Voyages and Travels' undertaken by individuals from many parts of the globe. These address the geography, ethnology and natural history of the regions visited, covering all continents and every period over the last two thousand years. Such texts, many previously available only in manuscript or in unedited publications in languages other than English, are the essential records of the stages of inter-continental and inter-cultural encounter.
Established in 1846, the Society has to date published over 350 volumes. All editions are in English. Although a substantial number of the Society's past editions relate to British ventures, with documentary sources in English, the majority concern non-British enterprises and are based on texts in languages other than English. Material originally written in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French or Dutch has regularly appeared, material in Russian, Greek, Latin, Ethiopic, Chinese, Persian or Arabic occasionally.
All editions contain an introduction and scholarly annotation, giving both the general reader and the student a degree of assistance in understanding the material and providing guidance on the relevance of the episodes described, within the context of global development and world history. Volumes are often generously furnished with maps and contemporary illustrations.
Information about the Society may be obtained from the Administrative Assistant at the following address:
Hakluyt Society, c/o Map Library, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DG, UK