Paris, Durand, 1756. 4to. 2 contemp. full mottled calf. Spines with raised bands. Richly gilt compartments. Titlelabels with gilt lettering. Gilt line-borders on covers and on edges of boards. Very light wear along edges. Stamp on title-page. (2),XIV,463,4; (2),513,81),(2-errata) and 7 folded engraved maps. Having the additional leaves 437-450 marked with an asterix. A few faint scattered brownspots. Wide-margined and clean. On good paper.
First edition. This work "offers a complete digest of all known voyages to the Southern seas, preceded by a long plea for an exploration campaign in these waters, in order to discover and exploit the vast Austral continent which could not fail to be there, for mechanical reasons. It proved extremely useful to James Cook with respect to the discovery of Australia in 1770, and contains what may be the first occurrence of the words "Polynésie" and "Australasie". It has been written that it is this book which convinced the French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, then a soldier in Canada, to become a sailor and, in his own terms, "do something great""