Laplace's voyage around the world


LAPLACE, (C. P. T.) Voyage autour du monde per les Mers de l'Inde et de Chine. Exécuté sur la corvette de l'état La Favorite pendant les années 1830, 1831 et 1832 sous la commandement de m. Laplace... I-IV (lacking vol. 5 and the 2 atlases). Paris (Imprimerie Royale) 1833-35.

8:o. (4), (I)-XLI, (1 blank), (1)-558, (2, last blank); (4), (1)-481, (1); (4), (1)-510, (2, last blank); (4), (1)-480 pp. 1 folding engraved map (all, some foxing, small marginal tear), some text illustrations. Contemporary black half calf, somewhat worn, gilt spines in five compartments, speckled edges. Some foxing. 4 volumes.

Lacks the rare vol. V dealing with zoologie, and the two atlases (on history and hydrography), but the text is complete concerning the history of the travel.
As British, American and Dutch voyages began solidifying their interests in Australia, Hawaii and New Guinea, the French government sought to secure the religious freedoms and rights of French residents in the South Pacific. Voyages such as that of Jules Dumont d'Urville in the 1820s had already collected vast amounts of knowledge of the area, and the French government were hoping to secure its economic opportunities. Having sent out two voyages already, that of the Astrolabe and the Bayonnaise, the French began drawing plans for a third expedition. The original route planned was designed to complement that of Hyacinthe de Bougainville, re-establishing French influence of the Indo-China area. Laplace's prime objective was to re-establish French influence in Indo-China, to "show the flag" in the area. He was also asked to gather information that may be of use to merchants, such as customs, harbour regulations, conditions of entry and market information.

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