The Expedition of the St John-Baptiste to the Pacific, 1769–1770: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Expedition of the St John-Baptiste to the Pacific, 1769–1770

1st Edition

Edited by John Dunmore


320 pages

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Hardback: 9780904180114
pub: 1999-01-31
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The St Jean-Baptiste expedition sailed at a crucial time in Pacific exploration. The voyages of Bougainville and Wallis had just ended, James Cook's first voyage had just begun. Jean-François-Marie de Surville entered the Pacific by way of the Philippines, made landfall in the Solomons, sailed to New Zealand, where he narrowly missed encountering Cook's Endeavour, and crossed the southern Pacific to the coast of Peru where he met his death in an attempt to obtain help for his decimated crew. Professor Dumore has chosen the journals of Surville and his first officer, Guillaume Labé, to present a complementary two-man picture of the expedition, while also drawing from other journals and reports. In his Introduction, he analyses the aims of the voyage, the part played by the expedition in the rediscovery of the Solomon Islands, the contribution Surville and his officers made to our knowledge of pre-colonial Maori society, and the Spanish response to the arrival of a French ship in their coastal waters. He examines the question of the first religious service held in New Zealand and the problem of the mythical Davis Land. Above all, the Introduction and the journals provide a valuable picture of a Pacific expedition in the heroic period of exploration, of the men who took part in it and the difficulties and hardships they encountered. This edition, based on unpublished documents held in the French National Archives, adds a new dimension to our understanding of Pacific exploration and places the voyage in the broader perspective of continuing Anglo-French rivalry.

About the Series

Hakluyt Society, Second Series

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


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General