A book by Jacques Arago titled 'Souvenirs d'un aveugle voyage autour du Monde' ('Reminisences of a blindman - voyage around the world'). It was edited by H.Lebrun, rue de Lille Paris and published by Chez Garnier Freres in 1843. This is a 4th edition that combines volumes 1 and 2.
Although Arago lost his sight in 1837, he went on traveling and writing for the theater
The Uranie left France in September 1817 and sailed via the Cape of Good Hope to Shark Bay in Western Australia, arriving on 12 September 1818
SignificanceThis book wonderfully reflects 19th century scientific interest in Natural History; detailed documentation and specimen collection of unknown or unfamiliar marine animal species was a feature of the methodology adhered to by scientists accompanying 19th century voyages of discovery.
HistoryJacques Etienne Victor Arago was one of three artists and draughtsmen on board the French expedition of 1817-1820 led by Louis de Freycinet in the ship URANIE.
First published in 1823, this is an account of the voyage made to the Pacific with de Freycinet .The many images in this, a later edition of the most popular French account of the century, reflect a change in attitude to the indigenous people the explorers encounted. No longer just the idyllic side of the Pacific is represented. This may be reflecting a more ethnographic awareness or Arago may also have been striving for a more populist approach. Equally the book can be seen as a text for colonisation - that the French have to "rescue" the islanders from a way of life dominated by violence and pagan beliefs.
Volume 1 covers the voyage from France to Micronesia (Marianna Islands) via Brazil, Cape of Good Hope, Indonesia.
Volume 2 covers Mme Freycinet, Hawaii (Sandwich Islands), Australia (Nouvelle Hollande), Cape Horn and the shipwreck and the final return home.
. The voyage was organized by the French government, under the restored Royalty, to show the flag around the world and to make scientific observations on geography, magnetism and meteorology.
The official journal of the voyage was published by the captain Freycinet himself, and special accounts on zoology and botany studied during the voyage were published by the doctors Quoy and Gamard, and the pharmacist of the voyage, Gaudichaud. Arago's informal account took the form of letters addressed to a friend in a lively and witty style. Special attention is given to the peoples the artist met with, the plates also depicting the peoples and the life on the Sandwich Islands, with about 150 pages devoted to Hawaii, Maui and Oahu, the Mariana islands, Timor, New Guinee, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
The URANIE sailed from Toulon in September 1817 and onto Gibraltar, Tenerife and Rio de Janeira. Here the captain's wife Rose secretly boarded the ship, and one of the islands discovered was named after her "Rose Island". The voyage continued by way of Cape of Good Hope to the Mascarene Islands, Western Australia, Timor, New Guinee, the Mariana islands, Caroline islands, Sandwich islands, New South Wales, New Zealnd, Tierra del Fuego, and the Falklands where the l'Uranie shipwrecked. The captain was able to buy the American ship Mercury, which he renamed "La Physicienne", and on which he sailed again to Rio de Janeiro and back to Le Havre. First published in 1822, Arago's account met with much success. This plate is newly drawn by N. Maurin after the orginal sketchbook by Jacques Arago, who had become blind.
Primary title: Souvenirs d'un Aveugle voyage Autour du Monde
Assigned title: Reminisences of a blindman - voyage around the world