St. Petersburg: Typ. of the Naval Ministry, 1864. Item #1186
Five vols. bound in two. Octavo (ca. 24x16 cm). Russian brown quarter sheep with brown cloth boards; spines with raised bands and gilt-lettered titles. Woodcut bookplates of a Soviet bibliophile N.S. Krovyakov on the front pastedown endpapers, pre-1917 ink library stamps (Tsarskoye Selo Nikolayevskaya Gymnasium) on the title pages of vols. 2, 4 and 5. The owner’s pencil note on the title page of vol. 2, occasional pencil marginalia in text. Paper slightly age-toned, occasional minor water stains in vols. 4 and 5, otherwise a very good set.
Vol. I. [2 – t.p.], [2 – table of contents], xxiv, 352 pp. With a steel engraved portrait frontispiece and eight lithographed maps and coastal profiles (three folding).
Vol. II. [2 – t.p.], [2 – table of contents], [2 – half-title], 374 pp.
Vol. III. [2 – t.p.], [4 – table of contents], [2 - preface], [2 – half-title], 283, xxviii, [2 – half-title], [2 – preface], 114, lxxi pp. With 15 lithographed maps and coastal profiles (2 folding).
Vol. IV. [2 – t.p.], [6 – table of contents], [2 – half-title], [2 - preface], 520 pp.
Vol. V. [2 – t.p.], [2 – table of contents], 204 pp.
Very rare Russian imprint with only eight paper copies found in Worldcat.
First edition of collected works by a famous Russian navigator and explorer Vasily Golovnin (1776-1831) with important accounts of his voyages to Japan (vols. 1 & 2), Alaska, Hawaii and Pacific islands (vols. 3 & 5). At the time of publication, this edition became the most complete printed collection of Golovnin’s works and retained its importance to this day. There was only one more attempt to publish Golovnin’s collected works (Golovnin, V.M. Sochineniya. Moscow-Leningrad: Glavsevmorpit, 1949), but this Soviet edition contained abridged versions of the accounts of both Golovnin’s circumnavigations and completely omitted his articles on Russian America, apparently for ideological reasons.
The 1864 edition was published on account of the Russian Naval Ministry. Its initiator was most likely Golovnin’s son, Alexander Vasil’evch Golovnin (1821-1886), who in the 1850s worked as an editor of the official periodical of the Russian Navy “Morskoy Sbornik,” worked as Russian Minister of Education in 1861-66, and was one of the first members of the Russian Geographical Society and its secretary in 1845-1847. It was Alexander Golovnin who promoted the publication of the second edition of his father’s “Zapiski v plenu u yapontsev d 1811, 1812 i 1813” (Notes in Japanese captivity, 1851), and the second edition of Archibald Duncan’s “The mariner’s chronicle, containing narratives of the most remarkable disasters at sea,” which was translated and annotated by Vasily Golovnin, and supplemented with the narratives of Russian shipwreckes written by the translator (SPb., 1853). The editor of both editions, as well as of the 1864 edition of Golovnin’s “Sochineniya i Perevody” was a noted Russian journalist and writer Nikolai Gretsch (1787-1867), who also authored the biography of Golovnin in vol. 1 of the 1864 edition.
“A very rare collected edition of Golovnin’s works. A biography of Golovnin by P.I. Grech in the first volume is followed by an account of his voyage in the Diana to the Kurile Islands, and by an account of his 1807 voyage in the Diana to Kamchatka. The narrative of Golovnin’s voyage to Alaska, Hawaii, and California is in the third volume. It differs in some respects from the account of his voyage in the Kamchatka (St. Petersburg, 1822; see no. 545). An engraved chart of Honolulu Harbor in the third volume accompanies the Hawaiian text” (Forbes 2563).
“Vol. 1 contains the biography of Golovnin by academician N. Grech and the full text of the voyage to Kamchatka on the sloop Diana. Vol. II has the story of Golovnin’s Japanese captivity. Vol. III has the voyage to Alaska and California on the sloop Kamchatka and at the end (pp. XXVIII-XXXIX) Kruzenstern’s work on the errors in compass’ declination. Vol. IV in a translation of Duncan’s notable shipwrecks, augmented by Golovnin’s remarks and explanations. Vol. V has Golovnin’s remarks regarding Kamchatka and Russian America, as well as his famous memoir on the state of the Russian-American Company in 1818. This collection of Golovnin’s works reproduces the full text of his various reports and descriptions of voyages, including those to Alaska, some of which appeared earlier as separate works. His works on Alaska have become very rare and are practically unobtainable. This collected edition of 1864 – which is also very rare – is, therefore, most valuable to scholars and collectors alike” (Lada-Mocarski 153).
The last volume contains Golovnin’s remarks to Kamchatka and Russian America in 1809-1811 and his notes on the state of the Russian-American Company in 1818 (where he argues for the benefits of selling the colony which draws too many resources from Russia). First published as supplements to the “Morskoy Sbornik” in 1861, the accounts are a “great rarity,” and “one cannot over-emphasize [their importance and value” (see more about them in: Lada-Mocarski, 149). Both accounts have not been republished in Russia.
Contents of the volumes:
Vol. 1. Gretsch, Nikolai (1787-1867). Biography of V.M. Golovnin; Golovnin, V.M. Voyage of the sloop “Diana” from Kronstadt to Kamchatka in 1807-1809 (in 2 parts); Golovnin, V.M. Abridged notes about the voyage on the sloop Diana for the survey of the Kurile Islands in 1811.
Vol. 2. Notes of V.M. Golovnin [made] in Japanese captivity in 1811, 1812 and 1813 (in 3 parts).
Vol. 3. Voyage around the world [executed] on the naval sloop Kamchatka in 1817, 1818, and 1819 (in two parts, first part with eight supplements, second part with twenty-five supplements).
Vol. 4. Duncan, Archibald. Description of the most remarkable shipwrecks which happened in various times (in three parts). Translated from English and supplemented with notes and explanations by V.M. Golovnin; Golovnin, V.M. Description of the notable shipwrecks endured in various times by Russian navigators.
Vol. 5. Golovnin, V.M. Notes about Kamchatka and Russian America in 1809, 1810 and 1811; Golovnin, V.M. A report about the state of the Russian American Company in 1818; A note about the noble family of Golovnins (From the Russian Rodoslovnaya Book, Part 4, pp. 346-369, SPb., 1857).
Vol. 1. 1) Steel engraved portrait frontispiece of V.M. Golovnin & facsimile of his signature; Maps: 2) General Map with the track of the sloop “Diana” in 1807, 1808 & 1809 (folding); 3) Map of the Sakhalin Sea with the survey of the southern Kurile Islands (folding); 4) Plan of the bay on the south-eastern side of the Tana Island (New Hebrides); 5) Plan of the harbour on the Urup Island (the Kuriles); 6) Plan of the Broughton Bay on the Simushir Island (the Kuriles); 7) Two coastal profiles of the Cape of Good Hope; 8) Four coastal profiles of the Tana, Anatom & Erromango Islands (New Hebrides); 9) Plan of the Izmena Bay on the Kunashir Island (the Kuriles).
Vol. 3. 1) Map of the Sitka Bay showing the approach to the New Archangel (folding); 2) Map of the Chiniak Bay (Kodiak Island); 3) Plan of the Rumyantsev Bay (Bodega Bay, northern California); 4) Plan of the entrance to the Honolulu Harbour on the Voahu (Oahu) Island; 5) Plan of the Umata (Umatac) Bay on the Guahan (Guam) Island; 6) Plan of the port at Fort San Luis (Guam Island); 7) Plan of the raid of the Faial Island (the Azores); 8) Coastal profile of the Faial Island; 9) Four coastal profiles of the Guam Island; 10) Four coastal profiles of the Manila Bay (Mount Mariveles, Grafton Isle, etc.); 11) Five coastal profiles of the Manila Bay (Mount Mariveles, Sinalan Isle, Dokan Isle, Toti Isle); 12) Four coastal profiles of the islands in the Gaspar Strait and the coast of Sumatra; 13) Four coastal profiles, showing: Cape Pinos (California), the Farallon Islands (California), the eastern cape of the Oahu Island, and Mount Mauna Loa; 14) Two coastal profiles of the Java Island and the Table Mountain; 15) Positions of anchors and currents.