THE POLYNESIAN JOURNAL of Captain Henry Byam Martin, R.N. – a small photograph intended to show the condition and general appearance of this book.
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of Captain Henry Byam Martin, R.N.

In command of H.M.S. Grampus - 50 guns, at Hawaii and on station in Tahiti and the Society Islands
1846 - 1847

Illustrated with water colours, wash drawings and decorative pen sketches
from the originals by Captain Martin

First published 1981 by Peabody Museum of Salem, Massachusetts.

Navy cloth bound book with gilt lettering to spine ; contents immaculate. Book condition NEAR FINE
Dust jacket is un-price clipped with some shelf rubbing so condition is just about VERY GOOD condition.
ISBN 0-87577-060-6
192 pages including a four page index. 160 mm. x 235 mm. x 16 mm.

THE POLYNESIAN JOURNAL of Captain Henry Byam Martin, R.N.: A scan of the book open at two facing pages, because the book has not been forced flat on the platten, in case of damage to the binding, the gutter area appears to be in shadow

Admiral Henry Byam Martin's first command in the British Navy was Captain of the 50-gun frigate, H.M.S. Grampus, in the year 1846. He was ordered to sail from Plymouth 'round the Horn to Hawaii for further orders.

Those orders sent him to Tahiti for a full year, the fatal year in which the French subjugated the Tahitians by bloody force, made the island a "Protectorate" of France but allowed the glamorous Queen Pomare to be the titular ruler until they took it over completely, as a colony, in 1880.

This Polynesian portion of Captain Martin's daily Journal has lain unnoticed in the depths of the British Museum until this publication. But it still sparkles with wit and with acute observations of the personalities and events of that critical year in the struggle between the French and the English for the conquest of the Pacific and the hopeless struggles of the poor islanders to defend their homelands and their freedom. As such it is a fascinating on-the-scene report from the English point of view. Hitherto all reports have been from the French or from the missionaries who were either bringing the blessings of French civilization or religious salvation.

The Journal will also be of keen interest to ethnologists interested in the Pacific island culture; especially notable are the many fine water colour paintings and monochrome wash drawings that the talented Captain Martin produced and which were discovered only a short while ago when the contents of his old family house in England were disposed.

Altogether it is a delightful and instructive lost treasure of the Great Ocean.

Here is a link to a very useful review of this book -

Price £12.00 - plus postage - Weight wrapped <0.75 kilo.

Postage prices below from May 2013.

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