Vernon S. Forbes and John Rourke
Paterson's Cape Travels 1777 to 1779
Seller ID: 1473
Johannesburg: Brenthurst, 1980. One of 850 copies bound in cloth of an edition of 1000 (pp. frontis, 202, appendices, bibliography, index). Large quarto (27 cm) illustrated with 62 colour plates from Paterson's collection of watercolours published here for the first time, including images of people, scenery, animals, and plants encountered during his four journeys in search of botanical specimens for the collection of his sponsor Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore. Pictorial dust jacket, green publisher's cloth, gilt titles to spine. Mended 4 cm tear to bottom edge of dust jacket, dj tips lightly worn, protective Brodart wrapper. Paterson's account of his exploratory and plant gathering journeys in South Africa, A Narrative of Four Journeys into the Country of the Hottentots and Caffraria, was first published at London in 1789. Paterson's actual ms account on which the London edition was based was discovered 'in mysterious circumstances' in the middle of the 20th century and acquired for the Oppenheimer Library. This book is, therefore, the first publication of Paterson's original ms and retains the peculiarities of his style and grammar which were due to 'deficiencies in his education'. The notes for this edition include a biographical sketch of William Paterson, who is pictured in the frontispiece later in life in the uniform of the Lt. Governor of New South Wales, an appreciation of his work as a plant collector (As a twenty-one year old assistant gardener, he was sent out from Scotland to South Africa), and an account of his writing and drawings. In that context, then, the editors present 'An account of four journies into the southern parts of Africa', Paterson's original manuscript. Details of Paterson's botanical illustrations and the locations where they are held occupy several appendices. That text is united here with selections from the three hundred or so watercolour sketches of Paterson's Cape travels. A fine copy of an admirable production. Quite scarce.
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