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Dillon's Voyage in Search of the La Pérouse Expedition

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Dillon's Voyage in Search of the La Pérouse Expedition

Date of publication:

  • 1830
  • Place of publication:


  • contemporary quarter-calf
  • Publisher:

  • Pillet Ainé
  • Author:

  • Peter Dillon
  • Voyage aux Iles de la Mer du Sud, en 1827 et 1828, et relation de la découverte du sort de La Pérouse.

    The French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse and the crews of his two vessels were stranded on Vanikoro in 1788, and all ultimately perished. The fate of the expedition remained a mystery until 1826. Read more

    Peter Dillon (1788-1847) was a trader and adventurer in the South Seas. In May 1826 Dillon obtained relics of the La Pérouse expedition which had supposedly come from Vanikoro, and he persuaded the East India Company to lend him a ship to settle the matter. On Vanikoro (after a chequered voyage) he found the remains of La Pérouse's two wrecked ships, and numerous artefacts unquestionably from La Pérouse's expedition, which he carried off.

    He recieved a mixed reaction in England, but the French King Charles X awarded Dillon the Légion d'honneur, an annual pension of 4000 francs, and a grant towards his expenses. His colourful account of the expedition was rushed into print in both France and Britain. (ODNB)

    Condition & Materials

    First French edition. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. [ii], lx, 294, [ii]; [iv], 361, [iii] +2 folding frontispieces, folding map of the island of Mannicolo (Vanikoro) and single-page plate, all b/w, lithographed by Godefroy Engelmann; a few trivial spots and blemishes; contemporary green quarter-calf over pebble-grained cloth, lettered direct, with ‘Ambassade de France à Constantinople’ at the foot of the spines; trivial wear to headcaps and corners, a couple of small areas of abrasion to lower cover of volume two. Read less