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Lot 97

97. [LUCETT, Edward]. Rovings in the Pacific, from 1837 to 1849; With a Glance at California. By a Merchant Long Resident at Tahiti. With Four Illustrations Printed in Colours. In Two Volumes. London: [London: Spottiswoodes and Shaw, New-street-Square. Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans], 1851. Vol. I: xii, 351 [1] pp., 2 plates. Vol. II: xi [1,blank], 371 [1] pp., 2 plates. Total: 4 tinted lithographs of views in Tahiti. 2 vols., 8vo, late nineteenth-century three-quarter tan sheep over tan cloth, stamped in gilt and blind, gilt-lettered red leather label, raised bands. Bindings scuffed (especially on spines) and have light shelf wear, interior and plates very fine. Large engraved armorial bookplate of W. Newdigate and rubber stamp of J. Leighton on front pastedown of each volume; printed library label for Weston-in-Arden on front free endpaper of each volume.

     First edition. Abbey 600. Bagnall 3198. Cowan I, p. 144. Cowan II, p. 399. Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography 1825. Hill II:1041: “A rather spirited [narrative] of adventure in almost every island of the Pacific, and an excellent account of the troubles in Tahiti and its annexation by the French.” Hocken 161. Howes L552. Judd 114. Norris 2249. O’Reilly & Reitman 1052. Sabin 73525. Streeter Sale 2672. Although only in the South Seas for just over a decade, Lucett travelled widely and offers many entertaining and sometimes caustic observations on the people and circumstances he encountered. From his home in Tahiti, where he was a merchant, he travelled to places such as Hawaii and California. He met the imprisoned Herman Melville, of whom he makes many unflattering remarks. He also did not much care for Hawaii or California.

Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 409:

Chapter XII, the final portion of the second volume, details a visit to San Francisco. Lucett arrived at the port on October 20, 1849, and spent nine weeks in the city observing the influence of gold upon its inhabitants. Reflecting on the high prices and state of labor, he noted: “Labour and handicraft work is at an immense premium, whilst the services of those skilled in the humanities are at a comparative discount.” Lucett also described Sacramento, “Suttor’s” Fort, and Marshall’s discovery. This merchant author wrote in cynical terms about what he saw. Cowan attributed the authorship to Lucatt, or Lucett.

(2 vols.) ($1,000-2,000)

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