18 aquatint plates

Willyams, Cooper. [A Voyage up the Mediterranean in His Majesty's Ship the Swiftsure. With a description of the Battle of the Nile on the first of August 1798].

[London, J. White, 1802].

Folio (ca. 350 x 493 mm). 17 aquatint plates in original hand colour and one double-page-sized aquatint map of the Mediterranean in original hand colour, all with captions in English. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards with giltstamped title and 2 floral ornaments to spine. Marbled endpapers.


Collection of 18 of the 43 illustrations from the account of the voyage of HMS Swiftsure and the Battle of the Nile by the British clergyman and artist Willyams (1762-1816), who served as chaplain aboard the ship, a vessel of Admiral Nelson's squadron captained by Benjamin Hallowell Carew. The 17 plates in the present volume show views of the caves of Gibraltar and the Spanish Church in the city, the Bay of Fournelles, Ischia, a street in Caiffe at the foot of Mount Carmel featuring two dromedars, Aboukir castle, caverns near Syracuse and the Temple of Minerva, the Palermo Capuchin catacombs, and a view of Scylla on the coast of Calabria, as well as an attack on the French camp near Aboukir, an attack of Turkish gun boats on the castle of Aboukir, and a group of three Arabs aboard the Swiftsure. The aquatint map shows the Mediterranean Sea with the courses of the British and French fleets up to their encounter in the Bay of Aboukir in August 1798. Designed by Willyams, the illustrations were engraved by Joseph Constantine Stadler.

Binding somewhat rubbed near extremities. Right margins of several plates brownstained or a little worn (not touching image); map brownstained on left and right margins and near the gutter (hardly touching image); the plate with the entrance into the Ear of Dionysius with traces of 2 folds near lower right corner (not touching image). An appealing compilation of decorative images documenting the route of the British fleet leading up to the Battle of the Nile.

For the original publication cf. Abbey 196. Blackmer 1813. Atabey (2nd ed.) 1339. Graesse VII, 456.

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