A naval surgeon's account of the Far East
The Oriental Voyager,
or, descriptive sketches and cursory remarks, on a voyage to India and China, performed in the years 1803-4-5-6. Interspersed with extracts from the best modern voyages and travels. London printed by Joyce Gold for James Asperne 1807
First edition. 8vo (22 x 13.5 cm), pp.xvi,388, [12, index], folding table, large folding map. A very good copy handsomely bound in contemporary tree calf, spine gilt with morocco label. Top of spine with a short split, lower corners rubbed. Map with three tears along fold lines.
Not in Löwendahl.
An account of four years' voyage to the Far East aboard HMS Caroline and Medusa by the naval surgeon James Johnson, compiled for the benefit of young Englishmen sailing east, as "an agreeable and useful companion on... visits to the oriental world." The first six chapters' detail HMS Caroline's passage from Cork to Madras, via Brazil and the Cape. From Madras, the Caroline sailed to China. Johnson devotes a chapter to the ship's passage through the straits of Malacca and Singapore, describing the pirate infested waters and a typhoon in the China Sea in great detail. Johnson visited Canton and Macao, and provides numerous descriptions of these cities and Chinese culture in two chapters, culled from his own experience and contemporary sources. Whether marvelling at a public display of Chinese martial arts or the custom of fishing for sharks, to make "a very nutritious soup", Johnson aims both to inform and intrigue his audience. The final eight chapters' describe Johnson's travels in India, and voyage home aboard the HMS Medusa. The large folding map depicts the routes of the Caroline and Medusa. The folding table provides the dates, latitudes, and longitudes of both voyages.