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Keppel's Voyage to the Indian Archipelago



Keppel, Captn the Hon. Henry Keppel, R.N. A VISIT TO THE INDIAN ARCHIPELAGO, IN H.M. SHIP MAEANDER; WITH PORTIONS OF THE PRIVATE JOURNAL OF SIR JAMES BROOKE, K.C.B. London: Richard Bentley, 1853. First edition. Hardcover. 2 vol. 8vo. [5], viii-xiv, [3], 2-301, [3]; [5], vi-vii, [2], 2-286, [2] pp. Contemporary three-quarter smooth blue calf over bright blue pebbled cloth, spine in six compartments, each with a red morocco labe lettered in gold, spines lettered and decorated in gold; all edges gilt. Each volume illustrated with a tinted lithograph frontispiece, volume one with three additional tinted lithograph plates and a map laid in (the original cloth had a pocket, this binding was not done with a pocket for the map); volume two with three additional tinted lithograph plates. Volume one lacks the half-title. Howgego 1800-1850, K8. Henry Keppel was an English naval officer. He undertook extensive voyages to the East and West Indies. After meeting James Brooke in 1842, in Singapore, the two campaigned against piracy in the region. From 1844 to 1847 Keppel was retired until he returned to Borneo in the Maeander to assist Brooke at combatting piracy. Keppel served in the Crimean War, and fought in the Second Opium War in 1857. His Visit to the Indian Archipelago records his voyages with Brooke from Rio De Janeiro to Singapore and Borneo. Along the way, Keppel encounters wild hogs, tigers, water buffalo, and pirates on the rivers and seas. A great deal of his writing is devoted to his time spent in Malaysia, specifically in the regions of Labuan and Sarawak. Keppel also reports on the diseases his crew and James Brooke suffer, referring to "Labuan Fever". Descriptions of the Dyak people are given by Keppel, and his encounters with Sepoys are recorded. The end of volume one contains a history of piracy around the world, from ancient to what were then "modern times". Volume two details Keppel's observations on Governor James Brooke's rule of the Sarawak province, including its churches, courts, hospitals, and schools. Birds, bees, the proboscis monkey, kangaroos, birds of paradise, and alligators are discussed in Kepple's second volume. Volume two also records his travels to Java and Timor, and has descriptions of the practice of cannibalism. On his journey Keppel observed volcanoes, traveled to New Guinea and to the spice islands, and records his trading with the natives of the region. An attractive set on varied and diverse topics, a classic of nineteenth-century travel and exploration. Very Good. Item #00009251 A Very Good set with some wear to the extremities including mellowing to the spines and a minor discoloration to the fore-edge of volume one; faint foxing to the margins of the plates (not affecting the illustrations), missing corners to two leaves in volume one.

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