Among the voyages of exploration and surveying in the late 18th century, that of Alejandro Malaspina best represents the high ideals and scientific interests of the Enlightenment. Italian-born, Malaspina entered the Spanish navy in 1774. In September 1788 he and fellow-officer José Bustamante submitted a plan to the Ministry of Marine for a voyage of survey and inspection to Spanish territories in the Americas and Philippines. The expedition was to produce hydrographic charts for the use of Spanish merchantmen and warships and to report on the political, economic and defensive state of Spain's overseas possessions. The plan was approved and in July 1789 Malaspina and Bustamante sailed from Cádiz in the purpose-built corvettes, Descubierta and Atrevida. On board the vessels were scientists and artists and an array of the latest surveying and astronomical instruments. The voyage lasted more than five years. On his return Malaspina was promoted Brigadier de la Real Armada, and began work on an account of the voyage in seven volumes to dwarf the narratives of his predecessors in the Pacific such as Cook and Bougainville. Among much else, it would contain sweeping recommendations for reform in the governance of Spain's overseas empire. But Malaspina became involved in political intrigue. In November 1795 he was arrested, stripped of his rank and sentenced to life imprisonment. Although released in 1803, Malaspina spent the last seven years of his life in obscure retirement in Italy. He never resumed work on the great edition, and his journal was not published in Spain until 1885. Only in recent years has a multi-volume edition appeared under the auspices of the Museo Naval, Madrid, that does justice to the achievements of what for long was a forgotten voyage. This first volume of a series of three contains Malaspina's diario or journal from 31 July 1789 to 14 December 1790, newly translated into English, with substantial introduction and commentary. Among the places visited and described are Montevideo, Puerto Deseado, Port Egmont, Puerto San Carlos, ValparaÃso, Callao, Guayaquil and Panama. Other texts include Malaspina's introduction to his intended edition, and his correspondence with the Minister of the Marine before and during the voyage.
Contents: Foreword; Preface; Translating Malaspina; Introduction; Malaspina’s IntroducciÃ³n; Journal of the Voyage: from CÃ¡diz to Montevideo and at Montevideo: From CÃ¡diz to Montevideo; At Montevideo; From Montevideo to Puerto San Carlos de Chiloé: From Montevideo to Puerto Deseado and at Puerto Deseado; From Puerto Deseado to Puerto Egmont; At Puerto Egmont; From Puerto Egmont to Puerto San Carlos de Chiloé; At Puerto San Carlos de Chiloé; From Puerto San Carlos de Chiloé to Coquimbo: From Puerto San Carlos de Chiloé to Talcahuano; At Talcahuano and BahÃa ConcepciÃ³n; From Talcahuano to ValparaÃso and visit by Descubierta to Islas de Juan FernÃ¡ndez; At ValparaÃso and visit to Santiago; From ValparaÃso to Coquimbo; From Coquimbo to Callao: From Coquimbo to Callao and visit by Descubierta to Islas de San Félix; At Callao and visit to Lima; From Callao to Acapulco: From Callao to Guayaquil; At Guayaquil; From Guayaquil to PanamÃ¡; At PanamÃ¡; Appendixes; Works cited.
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