GOLOWNIN, Captain [i.e. Vasilii Mikhailovich GOLOVNIN]. Narrative of my Captivity in Japan, During the Years 1811, 1812 & 1813; with Observations on the Country and the People … To which is added an Account of Voyages to the Coasts of Japan, and of Negotiations with the Japanese, for the Release of the Author and his Companions, by Captain Rikord. London, Henry Colburn, 1818.
Two volumes, 8vo. Contemporary calf, spine decorated in gilt with raised bands and black morocco lettering-pieces, gilt-stamped ornamental borders around covers (rebacked, retaing original backstrips); pp. iv, 302; [ii], 348, [4, explanation of Russian terms and publisher's catalogue], offsetting from endpapers; a little spotting internally, otherwise a good copy of a scarce title.
First edition in English of this gripping account of an unvoluntry encounter between Russian and Japan. Golovnin fell into Japanese hands whilst surveying the Kuril Islands, learned Japanese in Hokkaido and had the time at his hands to study Japanese culture and civilization. Very well written, at times even entertaining. In Russia Golovnin's book became an authoritative work on Japanese culture and shaped an entire generation's view of Japan.