First edition of Thorn’s important memoir of the 1811 conquest of Java, providing descriptions of the military expedition and more general observations of the island’s history and geography.
The book is notable for its fine aquatint views of Batavia. The plates are by Joseph Jeakes who worked as a painter and engraver in London, probably after drawings by Johannes Rach and his school. “The most important of these is the Water Castle (Taman Sari), built by Sultan Hamenkubuwana I of Jogjakarta from 1758, the first print to depict this justly famed architectural wonder of central Java” (Bastin).
William Thorn (1781-1843) began his military career in 1799 in the 29th Light Dragoons. He served in the Maratha Wars under Lord Lake and in the expeditions against Mauritius in 1810 and Java in 1811. Deputy Quartermaster-General of the British army in the island, and took part in the actions against Palembang and Jogjakarta in 1812.
4to (31.5 x 25 cm). One large engraved map, 17 plates, one engraved, the rest aquatints by J. Jeakes, 4 folding, 18 engraved maps or plans, one with hand-coloured outlines and 12 folding. Extra illustrated with 7 double-page engraved plates showing cross-sections of ships, with 1815 imprint of T. Cadell and W. Davies. Some spotting affecting a minority of plates, half-title spotted. Modern half calf over contemporary marbled boards, old marbled pastedowns preserved (free endpapers modern but matching), an attractive example.
Provenance: King’s Inns Library, Dublin (stamp on title verso and verso of map).
Abbey, Travel 553.
Stock ID: 94354