Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia
Introduction by Marsden Hordern
Bibliographical note by Paul Brunton
Vol. 1: pp. xxxvi, 452, frontis.; folded map
Vol. 2: pp. xii, 63;, illus., 2 folded charts. Decorated brown cloth boards, with black lettering on spine and pictorial wrapper.
Phillip Parker King, son of the third governor of New South Wales, Philip Gidley King, was born on Norfolk Island in 1790. He entered the Royal Navy in 1807 and served in the Napoleonic Wars. In 1817 he was asked by the British Government to survey 'that part of the coast of New Holland not surveyed or examined by the late Captain Flinders'. He made four voyages between December 1817 and April 1822, the first three being in HMS Mermaid.
This book, in two volumes, is his own account of these explorations, told in clear, vivid prose and illustrated in part by his own sketches. He tells of encounters with Aborigines, describes the flora and fauna, and talks of the pleasures and trials of life at sea.
King's biographer, Marsden Hordern, and Paul Brunton, former Senior Curator at the Mitchell Library, have contributed authoritative introductions. With covers and endpapers designed by South Australian artist Stephen Bowers, the deluxe edition was a finalist in the Australian Book Design Awards of 2012.