~~ Book 1818100806 ~~

Voyage of the Alceste
John M'Leod
1818 - Second Edition


Captain Murray Maxwell, RN
Expedition Commander



Condition. The book is in Good++ condition. The binding is contemporary 3/4 leather over marbled boards with leather tips. Gilt lettering & bands (8) and plain decorative tooling on the spine. Both the head and foot of spine are eroded in about 1 cm. Corners bumped and worn and edges scraped. To see the edges, click here. The marbled boards are heavily worn and faded. There is medium foxing at the preliminaries (through the full title page) and at the rear (about 4 pages for both front and back). After that the pages are clean and supple with only occasional light foxing. However, the pages across from the plates have heavier foxing and image foxing from the plates. Click on the images of the plates below to see the condition of the plates as well as the adjoining text page. Collated and complete in text and illustrations. This book is far cleaner than the norm.

McLeod, John:
Voyage of His Majesty's Ship Alceste, Along the Coast of Corea to the Island of Lewchew; with an Account of Her Subsequent Shipwreck, London, John Murray, printed by W. Clowes, 1818, Second Edition, small 8vo (5 1/2 x 8 1/2 in - 14.5 x 21.5 cm), frontispiece (black and white lithograph), 5 color aquatint plates, 323 pp. The book contains 5 appendices. The first pertains to the court-martial pertaining to the loss of the loss/sinking of the Alceste. The other four relate to Okinawa (Lew Chew). This is the Narrative of the expedition (February 1816 - August 1817) of the British Naval ships the Alceste and the Lyra under the command of Captain Murray Maxwell to transport the Lord Amherst's Embassy to China and explore the relatively little known East China Sea and the Yellow Sea. The book contains extensive sections on visits to China, Korea, Lew Chew and St Helena. The first edition of the book is not broken down into chapters. This edition has seven chapters and each chapter has summary headings.


Title Page & Frontispiece


Hand Colored Lithographs

Islanders of Sir James Hall's Group Corean Chief and Attendants

Facing Page 42

Facing Page 44
Lewchewan Chief and Attendants Garden of the Temple at Lew Chew

Facing Page 71

Facing Page 76
Fort Maxwell  

Facing Page 251

The Fort Maxwell Lithograph was based upon a drawing by McLeod. It is not found in the first edition of the book.

Collation. Full Title: Narrative of a Voyage, in His Majesty's Late Ship Alceste Along the Coast of Corea to the Island of Lewchew; with an Account of Her Subsequent Shipwreck, London, John Murray (printed by W. Clowes), 1818. Short Title Page (Voyage of the Alceste to Lew Chew), Frontispiece (black and white - Portrait of Capt. Murray Maxwell, R.N.), Full Title Page, Dedication to James Wood, Esq, Advertisement (actually a Preface), Directions for Placing the Plates (lists frontispiece and 5 plates), text of Narrative (numbered pages 1-308), Appendix I. The Court Martial regarding the sinking of the Alceste (pages 309-10), Appendix II. Chronological List of Kings of Lewchew (pages 311-12), Appendix III. Names and Situation of the Lewchew Islands (page 313), Appendix IV. Lewchewan Words and Numerals. (pages 314-18), Appendix V. "The Farewell" - a poem by the Clerk of the Lyra (Pages 319-323) no Advertisements. The book contains 6 illustrations. The Frontispiece (black and white) and 5 color aquatint plates.

Chapter Headings

Chapter I. Voyage from England to the Brazils, the Cape of Good Hope, Java, and the Gulf of Pe-tche-lee.

Chapter II. The ships visit Chinese Tartary, the Provinces of Pe-tche-lee and Shantung, and examine the Coast of Corea.

Chapter III. Arrival at the island of Grand Lewchew -- our kind Reception by the Natives -- with some Account of the History, general Character and manners of this singular people -- Remarks on the Climate and Produce of the Island.

Chapter IV. Passage from Lewchew to Canton -- Discuss weighty Matters with the Chinese Authorities -- Result of the Discussions -- Observations on the Chinese People.

Chapter V. The Ships visit Manilla.

Chapter VI. Depart from Manilla -- Shipwrecked on Pulo Leat -- Attacked by the Malays -- Occurrences on the Island -- Passage of Lord Amherst and the Embassy to Batavia.

Chapter VII. Remarks on Java -- Passage homewards -- Touch at the Cape of Good Hope and St. Helena -- Arrival in England.

Listing of Illustrations.

    Portrait of Captain Maxwell (black and white)

    Color Aquatint Plates

  1. Islanders of Sir james Hall's Group (facing page 42)
  2. Corean Chief and Attendants (facing page 44)
  3. Lewchewan Chief and Attendants (facing page 71)
  4. Garden of the Temple of Lewchew (facing page 76)
  5. Fort Maxwell (facing page 251)

The plates in this edition (second) are on much thinner paper stock (not much thicker than the text pages) than those in the first edition which are on thick paper stock. The plates are not protected by tissue guards.

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