"BEST REPORT OF TONGAN LIFE AND CULTURE BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF CHRISTIANITY" (1827)

MARINER, William [edited by MARTIN, John]

An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean. With an original Grammar and Vocabulary of their Language. Compiled and arranged from the extensive communications of Mr. William Mariner, several years resident in those islands. By John Martin, M.D. ... Third Edition, considerably improved.

Published: Edinburgh: Printed for Constable and Co. [Constable's Miscellany series XIII & XIV]

Date: 1827

2 vols. 12mo. (in sixes) [engraved series title with engraved vignette], xxxiv, 35-340 ; [engraved series title with engraved vignette], 234, cviii (appendicies)pp., folding engraved map in vol.1 (with tissue guard), double-sided engraved plate of songs in vol.2, contemporary blue-black polished calf, sides with a gilt fillet border, spines panelled by raised bands highlighted by gilt and blind fillets, red morocco title labels, inner dentelles decoratively gilt rolled, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, the consecutive gatherings T, U and X in vol.1 quite heavily foxed, else a a nice copy in a pretty binding.

Provenance
Early signature "E. L. Harrington" at head of engraved titles and a later neat inscrption "Wilfred Collet from Sir J. Thurston" on preliminary blanks.

Note
HILL Pacific Voyages 1078 HOWEGO Encyclopaedia of Exploration 1800-1850, M14 "Young William Mariner set out in 1805 from Gravesend on a voyage to South America and the South Seas. The Port at Prince set sail with a twofold purpose - whaling and attacking Spanish shipping. The crew mutinied in the Tonga islands, and were then murdered by natives. Fifteen-year-old mariner, the lone survivor, was fortunate in being taken prisoner and adopted as the King's son. He lived on the islands for four years. His work contains a very interesting account of contemporary Tonga, of the customs of the inhabitants and their inter-island wars, and also examples of Tonga songs and music. Dr. Martin befriended the young British sailor and recorded this account of his experiences. It is considered the best report of Tonga life and culture before the arrival of Christianity" [Hill]. The work was first published in London in 1817 with a second edition with additions which also added a detailed engraved map of the entire archipelago (showing the exact location of the Port au Prince wreck). The map is repeated in this third edition which also adds vignette views on its two engraved title pages. During his time there Mariner became "thoroughly conversant with the language and customs of this Polynesian people" [O.D.N.B.] and included here, as an appendix, are a dictionary and grammar of that language.

£350

Offered by P & B Rowan