London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1851. First edition under this title of the Lewis, which was first published posthumously as Journal of a West India Proprietor, Kept during a Residence in the Island of Jamaica in 1834. First edition in English of the Pfeiffer title, which was originally published in German in 1850. Some rubbing to extremities. Nineteenth century armorial bookplate (William Caulfield) to front pastedown. Some foxing and toning to endpapers and first and last few years; otherwise, very clean throughout. A very good, fresh copy. Half nineteenth century dark brown leather over marbled boards, raised bands on spine, black morocco spine label titled in gilt. Two volumes in one, octavo. viii, 184; vii, 133, , 137-272 pp.,complete. Item #16985
Matthew Gregory Lewis (1775 – 1818) spent 1815 and 1817 in Jamaica after inheriting his father’s plantation, on which about 400 people were enslaved. The present work recounts Lewis’ time in Jamaica overseeing the plantation. Samuel Taylor Coleridge described the work as “by far his best work, [which] will live and be popular” and “almost the only unaffected book of travels I have read of late years.” Lewis’ numerous other works include The Monk (1795), which is “perhaps the most celebrated of all English Gothic novels,” (Oxford DNB).
Ida Laura Pfeiffer (1797 – 1858) was one of the first European female explorers, the first woman known to complete a voyage around the world alone (though she did have many local guides on her journeys). She covered about 200,000 miles on the journey recorded in the present work, during which she collected botanical, mineralogical, and entomological collections for the British Museum. Of Austrian birth, Pfeiffer journeyed mostly by herself to Palestine, Istanbul, Egypt, Italy, Scandinavia, South American, China, India, South Africa, Singapore, Borneo, Madagascar, and California. She wrote accounts of her travels, which sold widely and helped finance later trips. A Lady’s Second Journey Round the World appeared in 1855.