M'LEOD, John. Voyage of His Majestys Ship Alceste, along the Coast of Corea, to the Island of Lewchew; with an Account of her Subsequent Shipwreck. London, John Murray, 1818.
8vo. Modern brown half calf over 19th-century marbled boards; spine ruled in gilt and with morocco label in gilt; pp. [vi], 323; with stipple-engraved portrait-frontispiece and 5 hand-coloured aquatint plates; spine rebacked; rubbing to boards; renewed endpapers; even discolouration to paper-stock, with light spotting and marks throughout; toning to plates as usual; contemporary ink inscriptions to title-page and appendix IV (Korean vocabulary); a good copy.
Second and best edition - the first to include the plate of Fort Maxwell. M'Leod, the surgeon of the Alceste, took part in this voyage under the command of Captain Maxwell. At that time, Lord Amherst's Embassy was in China and Amherst himself was on board the Alceste when she was wrecked on her return journey. Amherst and all the crew survived. M'Leod's book contains a wealth of information on both China and Korea. 'The Alceste and the Lyra conveyed Lord Amherst's embassy to China, which was the second attempt by the British to open trade with China, after the first effort by Lord Macartney. The Alceste reached Rio de Janeiro in 1816, and then proceeded to the Cape of Good Hope. After a short visit there, Batavia was touched at in order to deliver dispatches for the evacuation of the country and reinstatement of Dutch control, after which the Alceste continued on to China. While the matters of the embassy were proceeding, the ships sailed on an expedition for the survey and exploration of the west coast of Korea and the Ryukyu Islands. In the course of this work a long visit was made to Okinawa. The people were very hospitable to the sailors and gave them a kindly, though careful, reception. On the return voyage, after taking Lord Amherst on board at Macao, Manilla was visited, and then, in Gaspar Strait off the coast of Sumatra, the Alceste struck a submerged reef and became a total loss. The crew and passengers reached the small adjacent island of Pulo Leat safely. Lord Amherst proceeded to Batavia to fetch help while the sailors fortified their island retreat, named Fort Maxwell after their captain. A long and vivid account is given of their experiences, of how they were attacked by Malay pirates, and of their final rescue. On their return voyage, St. Helena was visited, and an interesting account is given of an interview with Napoleon. Dr. M'Leod, the author of this account, was ship's surgeon on board the Alceste' (Hill p.407).
Abbey Travel 559; Lipperheide 1529; Cordier 2107-8; Hill 189.