A Voyage in the ‘Sunbeam’ – Anne Brassey (1884)


A Voyage in the ‘Sunbeam’ – Anne Brassey (1884)


Title: A Voyage in the Sunbeam, our Home on the Ocean for Eleven Months

Author: Mrs Brassey (Anne Brassey)

Publisher: John B. Alden, 1884.

Condition: Hardcover, cloth. Fair. Ex-library book with library sticker to endpaper (see pictures). Ffep missing. Wear to cover, slight foxing to pages. Text unmarked. 511pp., app 7″ by 4.5″.

About the book:

A Voyage in the Sunbeam, our Home on the Ocean for Eleven Months, first published in 1878, was a bestseller that was republished numerous times and translated into 5 languages. Amongst other places, she stopped at Malaya (Johor, Penang, Malacca, etc), Singapore, Japan, China, Macao, Sri Lanka and Aden.

From Goodreads:

A Voyage in the Sunbeam is a journal detailing the Brassey family’s voyage around the world. Annie Brassey delights in the mild Tahitian and Hawaiian breezes, shivers in the Japanese cold, and swelters in the Arabian heat. She struggles to keep down her breakfast sailing through the Straits of Magellan, and boldly marches her children up to the caldera of an active Hawaiian volcano. She suffers many hardships, but Brassey is undaunted, retaining a childlike wonder in the sights she sees.

About the author (from Wikipedia):

Anna “Annie” Brassey, Baroness Brassey (7 October 1839 – 14 September 1887) was an English traveller and writer.

In 1860, she married the English Member of Parliament Thomas Brassey (knighted in 1881 and became Earl Brassey in 1886), with whom she lived near his Hastings constituency. The couple had five children together before they travelled aboard their luxury yacht Sunbeam. The yacht was said to have been named after their daughter – Constance Alberta – who was nicknamed Sunbeam; she died of scarlet fever aged four, on 24 January 1873. The golden figurehead of the yacht depicting her is at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, UK.

A Voyage in the Sunbeam, describing their journey round the world in 1876-77 with a complement of 43, including family, friends and crew, ran through many English editions and was translated into at least five other languages. Her accounts of later voyages include Sunshine and Storm in the East (1880); In the Trades, the Tropics, and the Roaring Forties (1885); and The Last Voyage (1889, published posthumously). She had published privately earlier works including A Flight of the Meteor, detailing two cruises in the Mediterranean on their earlier yacht Meteor and A Voyage in the Eothen a description of their travels to Canada and the United States in 1872. She was also involved with the publication of Colonel Henry Stuart-Wortley’s 1882 Tahiti, a Series of Photographs.

In July 1881 King Kalākaua of Hawaii, who had been greatly pleased with her description of his kingdom, was entertained at Normanhurst Castle, and invested Lady Brassey with the Royal Order of Kapiolani.

Her collection of ethnographic and natural history material were shown in a museum at her husband’s London house until they were moved to Hastings Museum in 1919. There are also several photograph albums and other ephemera held at Hasting Library. However, the vast majority of her photograph albums are now housed in the Huntington Library, San Marino, California. The collection of 70 albums, each containing 72 to 80 thick board pages, is said to be a preeminent example of the historic travel albums. These albums contain works by Brassey and others she collected, including those of commercial photographers. Brassey was also an accomplished photographer. She joined the Photographic Society of London (later Royal Photographic Society) in 1873 and remained a member until her death. and she exhibited some of her photography in the Society’s exhibitions in 1873 and 1886.