Amedee Francois Frezier was a French military engineer, mathematician, intelligence officer, and explorer who spent much of his career planning fortifications for the French colonies around the world. A lieutenant-colonel of the French Army Intelligence Corps, Frezier was dispatched to South America to correct existing charts and improve the fortifications of Chile, Peru and Brazil for defense against English and Dutch attacks. His voyage took place between 1711-14, and his account was first published in French in 1716, with later editions in French, English and Dutch. Frezier is also known for bringing several specimens of strawberries back from South America and introducing them to Europe.
This is the first edition of Frezier's work, complete with 24 maps and 13 engravings of natives, flora and fauna. The maps show important bays, ports, and cities in Chile, Peru and Brazil. Of particular interest is Carte Reduite de l'Extremite de l'Amerique Meridionale dans la Partie du Sud, which shows the recent discoveries at the southern tip of South America. The routes of several expeditions around the Falkland Islands and through the Strait of Magellan are traced and listed at bottom right, including those of the ships Maurepas in 1706, St. Jean Baptiste in 1711, St. Louis in 1706, Assumption in 1708, and St. Barbe in 1713. Additional locations are identified by a capital-lettered key at bottom left. There is a flaming volcano depicted in Tierra del Fuego, "as seen by Sr. Clement in 1712."
Octavo, 298 pp., 24 maps & views, 13 engravings. Hardbound in contemporary mottled calf with raised bands and gilt title label on spine.
Exceptionally clean and bright. There is an old library stamp on verso of title page and on text page 92. The covers have bumped corners and several large abrasions. The spine is cracking with several abrasions and a chip at top.