Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2006 Issue

Travel from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje

Anson

English explorer and privateer George Anson.


It was one of the least successful attempts at African colonization. Philip Beaver led three ships from England to the island of Bulama, off the West African coast. However, most of the settlers had no practical experience in building a colony, were undisciplined, and not that interested in hard work. Many quickly deserted for the mainland. Beaver labored hard to make the colony a success, but many of his ill-suited remaining settlers took ill and died. Two years later, Beaver and those still left exited for nearby Sierra Leone. Beaver returned to England and served in the Royal Navy for the remainder of his life. Item 10 is Beaver's African memoranda: relative to an attempt to establish a British settlement on the island of Bulama... published in 1805. €1,450 (US $1,721).

Orphaned at the age of two, Frances Wright read books about the young United States while living with her uncle, a professor at Scotland's Glasgow College. She was so intrigued that she undertook a two-year tour with her sister. The result was her book, Views of society and manners in America... She was impressed by the Americans but not slavery. She returned to set up a community in Tennessee known as Nashoba. She hoped it would be a place where slaves could work and earn profits to pay for their freedom. However, it never worked out that well, and she paid to send some slaves to freedom in Haiti and moved to the utopian New Harmony community in Indiana. She would take up many progressive causes, abolition, women's rights, the end of capital punishment, and birth control, and relocate again to New York City. She was an important and influential voice for these causes for two decades. However, her atheistic views curtailed her popularity, and fewer people came to listen as the years went by. Her early work on America (this is a second American edition from 1821) is item 183. €170 ($201).

George Anson led five ships from England to South America in 1740 to harass Spanish shipping in the area. The expedition was both a monumental disaster and enormous success. Two of his ships returned before reaching their goal, two sunk. Most of his men died, and many survivors suffered grievously. However, before it was over, Anson ended up being only the second Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, and he captured one Spanish ship laden with immense wealth, enabling him to return to Britain a wealthy man. Item 3 is an engraved portrait of Anson €195 (US $231). Other Anson works offered are the first Dutch and first French editions of his official account, and a relation by some of the survivors of one of his ships which sunk.

You may find Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Antiquarian Bookseller on the web at www.gertjanbestebreurtje.com or reach them by phone at +31 (0)347 322 548.

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