Grant, James. THE NARRATIVE OF A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY, performed in His Majesty's Vessel the Lady Nelson, of Sixty Tons Burthen, with Sliding Keels, in the Years 1800, 1801, and 1802, to New South Wales. By James Grant, Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. Including Remarks on the Cape de Verd Islands, Cape of Good Hope, the hitherto Unknown Parts of New Holland, discovered by him in his Passage (the first ever attempted from Europe) through the Streight separating that Island from the land discovered by Van Dieman [sic]: Together with Various Details of his Interviews with the Natives of New South Wales; Observations on the Soil, Natural Productions, &c. not known or very slightly treated of by former Navigators; with his Voyage home in the Brig Anna Josepha round Cape Horn; and an Account of the Present State of the Falkland Islands. To which is prefixed an Account of the Origin of Sliding Keels, and the Advantages resulting from their Use; With an Appendix of Orders, Certificates, and Examinations, relative to the Trial Cutter. The Whole illustrated with elegant Engravings. London: Printed by C. Roworth, Bell Yard, Fleet Street, for T. Egerton, Military Library, Whitehall. 1803. Demy 4to, First Edition; pp. [iv](title & dedication, versos blank), [ii](List of Encouragers), [viii](Contents, last Erratum & Directions to the Binder), [v]-xxvi(An Account of the Origin of Sliding Keels), [ii](blank), 196(last blank); large folding plan of the sliding keels, folding chart, 1 coloured & 5 b/w. plates, appendix; neatly recased in original papered boards (rebacked, with printed paper label in style similar to original, and free endpapers replaced using contemporary paper; spine ends a little worn); entirely uncut and unopened; an exceptionally fine & clean copy; rare. London; Printed for T. Egerton; 1803.
***Ferguson 375; Wantrup 75; Hill, page 126. This copy is complete with the rare "List of Encouragers" leaf AND the blank leaf d4, neither mentioned by Ferguson, and one or both not present in most copies. The plates and chart were all engraved by S. I. Neele, 352 Strand and it seems that the work was not in fact published until 1804 as while the coloured plate of the Crested Cockatoo and the plate of the Lady Nelson in the Thames are dated July 1st, 1803 and the chart is dated Dec. 27th 1803, the remaining plates (except that of the sliding keels which is undated) are all dated Jan. 10th 1804. Never having been rebound, this copy has the plates all together, before the main text, with the result that the fine coloured plate of the Crested Cockatoo which almost invariably has the text offset across it, is here unmarked and in its original glory. The "Lady Nelson" was originally sent out to survey the unknown coasts of New Holland and was later chosen to accompany Matthew Flinders' on his circumnavigation of Australia. She accompanied him when he set off, but her slow sailing meant she was unable to keep up and was forced to turn back when she ran aground off the Queensland coast. The voyage included the first navigation of Bass Strait from West to East. The "Lady Nelson" was an experimental vessel, and her performance was of considerable interest to nautical science. Grant was given command rather than the designer Captain Schanck, as it was thought that the experiment would be given a fairer trial. The sliding keels did not, however, make the impact expected in spite of the advantage they presented for surveying in shallow waters. #21808

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