Fragments of Voyages and Travels – Captain Basil Hall (1850)


Fragments of Voyages and Travels – Captain Basil Hall (1850)


Title: Fragments of Voyages and Travels

Author: Captain Basil Hall

Publisher: Edward Moxon, London, 1850.

Condition: Full leather, calf. Boards have been reattached at the inner hinges using dark maroon electrical tape. Although a horrifying idea, it is, surprisingly, not as unsightly as one would think. Marbled endpapers and edges, extremely clean text. Inscription to ffep. 3 series in one, complete, with a total of approximately 600 pages. A very interesting account.

SKU: hall-voyages Categories: ,

3 series in 1 volume, complete. Covers Bermuda, Spain, India (with an account of the Black Hole of Calcutta), a chapter on Borneo, and some naval anecdotes.

About Basil Hall (from Wikipedia):

Basil Hall, FRS (31 December 1788 – 11 September 1844) was a British naval officer from Scotland, a traveller, and an author. He was the second son of Sir James Hall, 4th Baronet, an eminent man of science.

Hall commanded many vessels involved in exploration and scientific and diplomatic missions. While serving aboard HMS Endymion, Hall witnessed Sir John Moore being carried dying from the Battle of Corunna. It was also aboard the Endymion that Hall met William Howe De Lancey, who later married Hall’s sister Magdalene. De Lancey was struck by a cannonball at the Battle of Waterloo, and it was for her brother that Magdalene wrote A Week at Waterloo in 1815, a poignant narrative describing how she nursed him in his final days.

In 1810 he voyaged to Rockall aboard the Endymion and in 1811 was part of the first landing party there. His hazardous exploits in returning with this party were described in Fragments of Voyages and Travels.

Hall explored Java in 1813 and as a part of a diplomatic mission to China under Lord Amherst in 1816 undertook surveys of the west coast of Korea and the outlying Ryukyu Islands of Japan. In 1817 he also took the opportunity to interview Napoleon (who had been an acquaintance of his father) on St. Helena.

From the beginning of his naval career he had been encouraged by his father to keep a journal, which later became the source for a series of books and publications describing his travels. These included Account of a Voyage of Discovery to the West Coast of Corea and the Great Loo-Choo Island in the Japan Sea (1818), which was one of the first descriptions of Korea by a European, and Extracts from a Journal Written on the Coasts of Chile, Peru and Mexico (1823).

Hall’s journals also provide one of the few accounts of the wreck of the Arniston in 1815, which gave its name to the seaside town of Arniston, South Africa. As a captain, he was very critical of the fact that this ship did not have a marine chronometer with which to calculate longitude, and attributed the great loss of life directly to this false economy.