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Viti: An Account of a Government Mission to the Vitian or Fijian Islands in the Years 1860-61

by Seemann, Berthold

  • Hardback £300.00
  • Used Book Availability : In stock
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  • Catalogue No : 47920
  • Published : 1862
  • Cover : Hardback
  • Pages : xv, 447
  • Publisher : MacMillan & Co.
  • Published In : Cambridge
  • Illustrations : 4 tinted lithographic plates, 1 folding map


First edition. Berthold Carl Seemann (1825-1871) was a German botanist, who went to Kew in 1844 where he received training as a botanical collector. He travelled widely and collected a plants from the Pacific and South America. In early 1860 Seemann joined Colonel W.J. Smythe who was commissioned by the British Colonial Office to report on the Fiji Islands, before the government accepted their cession of sovereignty to Great Britain. Seeman states in the Preface 'My impression of Fiji and its inhabitants was most favourable, and I am convinced that, under judicious management, the country would become a flourishing colony'. (Interestingly, Smythe was of a different opinion and advised against the cession. In 1873 a second offer of cession was accepted). In Fiji, Seemann made an ascent of Mount Voma and Mbuke Levu. The appendix contains a systematic list of all the known Fijian plants at that time. Seeman also published a flora of Fiji, Flora Vitiensis (1865-1873), of which the first nine parts appeared during his lifetime (a final part was published after his death).

Troelstra p. 396.


8vo, cont. full calf by Zaehnsdorf, covers with gilt tooled borders and edges, raised bands to spine, gilt tooling to compartments, leather title piece, marbled edges and endpapers. A few light scuff marks, joints lightly rubbed, spine and inner margin of rear board faded. Some foxing to plates and facing pages. Near contemporary gift inscription to an Eton scholar (J. Bourne) to flyleaf. Vg.

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