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A voyage to Senegal, the isle of: Adanson, Michel

Adanson, Michel

Published by J. Nourse and W. Johnston, London (1759)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: Rulon-Miller Books (ABAA / ILAB) (St. Paul, MN, U.S.A.)

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About this Item: J. Nourse and W. Johnston, London, 1759. First edition, 8vo, pp. xiii, [1], 337, [1]; engraved folding map (light offsetting); worm track in the lower fore-margin of the first gathering (not touching any letterpress), otherwise a very good copy in modern brown buckram, gilt lettering and fillets on spine. "Although destined for the church, [Adanson] gave up his studies for those of natural history and in 1748 he sailed to Senegal. He remained in the country for five years studying not only the flora and fauna but also the climate and the language of the natives. During his stay he was responsible for tracing the River Senegal for a considerable distance into the interior, drawing maps of the surrounding region, as well as compiling dictionaries of the native languages . [His book] contains a wealth of original material in addition to his theories for classification of plants and animals" (Howgego, I, p. 7). Cox I, p. 383. Seller Inventory # 40158

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ADANSON, M[ichel] [1727-1806].

Published by London: Printed for J.Nourse and W.Johnston, 1759. (1759)

Used First Edition

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From: D & E LAKE LTD. (ABAC/ILAB) (Toronto, ON, Canada)

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About this Item: London: Printed for J.Nourse and W.Johnston, 1759., 1759. 8vo. pp. xiii, [1], 337, [1]errata. folding engraved map. woodcut ornaments & initial. contemporary calf, rebacked (joints cracked, corners worn, map with light foxing & offsetting). First Edition of the English Translation of the French botanistís account of his travels in Senegal from 1749-53. The work is of particular interest for Adansonís observations on natural history and descriptions of the dress, habitations, superstitions and impoverished living conditions of the inhabitants. Cox I 383. cfGay 2883. Seller Inventory # elala665

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Adanson, Michel (1727-1806)

Published by Printed for J Nourse and W Johnston, London (1759)

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About this Item: Printed for J Nourse and W Johnston, London, 1759. Full-Leather. Condition: Very Good. First British Edition. xiii+337 pages with folding map. Octavo (8 1/4" x 5 1/2")issued in full leather with gilt edges to covers and red label with gilt lettering to spine, raised spine bands. Translated from the French with notes by an English Gentleman, who resided some time in that country. From the library of William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme. 1st English edition. French botanist, Michel Adanson was the son of the equerry to the Archbishop of Aix-en Provence. His family moved to Paris in 1730 when his fatherís employer assumed responsibility for the archdiocese. He was destined from an early age for the priesthood and, through his connections to the Church, was provided with a canonry from Champeaux en Brie, which paid the cost of his education. At college, however, he demonstrated an extraordinary aptitude and passion for the natural sciences and afterwards went on to study and work under the direction of Réaumur and Bernard de Jussieu. While he was cataloging the plants that had been grown in the Jardin du Roi since 1740, he began to play with the idea of a classification system capable of describing all living plants. He was determined to travel to some little-known region where he could discover new plants, and used his connections to secure a position at the trading post in St Louis, Senegal. Before leaving, he gave up his stipend, forfeiting his ecclesiastical career, and acquired the various skills he would need to collect data on the countryís flora and fauna, resources, population, and geography. For five years (December 1748 to February 1754), he charted maps, collected artifacts, made astronomical and meteorological observations, and wrote grammars and dictionaries of some of the languages. Mostly, however, he collected specimens. He brought back to Paris some 30,000 plant specimens and a large collection of mollusks and fish. In addition to studying the natural history of St Louis and its surroundings, he made several journeys to the interior, including trips to Gorée Island, Podor, and the Gambia River. He collected on Tenerife on the voyage out, and on Fayal, on the voyage back. While still living in Senegal, he sent shipments of several hundred plants to Bernard de Jussieu, which were worked on by A.L. de Jussieu, for his Genera Plantarum, and by many later botanists. He presented Linneaus with a number of plants from his collection before the break in relations over their competing systems of classification. Only the first volume of his planned Histoire Naturelle du Sénégale (Paris, 1757) was ever published. It contains an account of his travels, followed by a description of shells, but few mentions of plants, because he was reserving his botanical discoveries for future volumes. Although the publication represented only a fraction of the work for which he collected notes, it made his reputation and led to his election into the French Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of London. In spite of his celebrity he lived a solitary existence, without students and almost without friends; and apart from some rare trips to the sea or mountains, and occasional presentations to the Academy (such as the first description of a baobab tree, in 1761), he confined himself to his study, busily analyzing, determining, and classifying the thousands of specimens of plants, fish, and molluscs he had brought back from Senegal, and preoccupied with his idea for a universal method of classification. For his descriptions of Senegalese molluscs he applied an entirely new method of classification that was based on the anatomy of the living animals inside the shells rather than on the shells alone. Many of his genera are still in use today. In 1759, while working with the Jussieus on a manuscript plan for the gardens at Versailles, he completed his outline for the plant classification system that he had originally conceived as a student in the Jardin du Roi. Familles Naturelles des Plantes, published in 1763, owed much to the classification of pl. Seller Inventory # E0002

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About this Item: Paris, Claude Jean-Bapt. Bouche, 1757. 4to. Cont. full calf. Gilt boders on covers. Old professional rebacking to style. Back gilt. A few nicks to leather at edges. (8),190;XCVI,275 pp., 1 large folded engraved map (Carte Generale du Senegal) and 19 fine engraved plates, each with many figs of conchs (M.T. Reboul sc.). Broad margins, printed on good paper. Light scattered brownspotting. Scarce first edition of this early, and perhaps the first scientific, travel expedition in Senegal - an example of a new scientific attitude and method in travel litterature. The author was primarely a botanist, and the results of the expedition was planned to be published in further volumes. Only this volume, relating to conchology and molluscs was published. The first part gives an account of the voyage in the years 1749 to 1753, and the second part describes the conchs and molluscs (conquillages) in fine engravings. - Not in Brunet and Graesse. - Nissen ZBI No. 27 - Casey A. Wood p. 180. Seller Inventory # 31423

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About this Item: 1757, 1757. 4to. Pp. (viii), 190; (ii), xcvi, 275. With one large folding map and 19 folding plates depicting different molluscs and shells engraved by Thérèse Reboul after sketches by the author. Contemporary calf, spine gilt with five raised bands and title-label, rubbed, spine worn, hinges cracked. Marbled endpapers, red edges. Bookplate (Bruce of Kinnaird). Provenance: James Bruce (1730-94), a Scottish explorer who introduced Ethiopia to the western world and confirmed the source of the Blue Nile. First edition of an early scientific expedition to Senegal. The first part deals with Adanson's voyage and explorations in Senegal, including the Island of Goree and the River Senegal. The second part is devoted to the history of conchology. Michel Adanson (1727-1806) was a French botanist who entered the service of the French East India Company in order to study the natural history of Senegambia. He was the first naturalist to visit Senegal and in 1759 he became a member of the Académie des Sciences. Internally a clean and crisp copy. Chadenat 2760. Cox i, p. 383. Gay 2883. Howgego A12. Nissen ZBI 27. Seller Inventory # 23078

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