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Pitcairn's Island and the Islanders in 1850

 
Pitcairn's Island and the Islanders in 1850 by BRODIE, Walter [Rebecca Christian, Louisa Quintall etc] (1851)

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Author: BRODIE, Walter [Rebecca Christian, Louisa Quintall etc]
Title: Pitcairn's Island and the Islanders in 1850
 
Year: 1851
Publisher: Whittaker & Co
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
 
Price: £2500
 
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pp 260 [3 lithographic plates] Lieutenant George H Inskip of HMS Virago's copy with signatures of several descendants of the Bounty mutineers, Fletcher Christian and Mathew Quintal and 150 textual annotations by Inskip. Green blind-stamped cloth binding with paper spine label, rubbed and lightly bumped to corners, short splits to cloth covering outer hinges at head of spine. Pencilled ownership signature of 'G. H. Inskip' to first endpaper and again on the title page of this third edition in ink: 'George H. Inskip. Pitcairn Island Jan 28th/ 53'. Additionally there are the signatures of 'Rebecca Christian', 'Victoria Quintall', 'Augusta Quintall', 'Susan Quintall', 'Maria Quintall' and 'Louisa Quintall January 28. 1853' across the top half of the title page; Inskip's signature is inscribed at right angles to the rest. Inskip's visit as an officer on board HMS Virago, the first steam-ship to dock at Pitcairn Island in January 1853, is documented in The Pitcairn Island Register Book and was the occasion of a trip around the island on board Virago - it was also used by Inskip to gather the signatures present on the book and the information that fills many of its pages: at page 9 Brodie's account of the rescue of a child is augmented with the infant's name in the margin 'George Adams' and the observation 'The mother died from he injuries tho.' There is additional information about Elizabeth Island and a significant biographical note about 'Matthew Quintall... a short time in California and then went to Sydney where he was shamefully imposed on...' (p.18) In addition to the verbal annotations there is frequent underlining and marginal lines and occasionally an endorsement of Brodie as in his statement about the islanders' morality at page 32. Inskip has taken care to correct and augment Brodie's list of the islanders names with around thirty annotations about them - 'Jacob married Nancy Quintall' [Maria] 'has 12 children', 'Martha since Married to David Buffet', 'John & Martha have for a time left the Island in an English Whaler the Master having his Wife on board.' Additionally Inskip has highlighted the names of those islanders who signed the book's title page. The accident that ended Inskip's 1853 visit is recounted in some detail: 'on the 26th Jan.y 1853 while firing a parting salute to the "Virago", it [the Bounty's old gun] accidentally went off while the Chief Magistrate Matthew McCoy was ramming home the cartridge lacerating hi right arm so much that amputation was required...' - McCoy was dead within hours. There is an up-to-date census of the numbers of male and female islanders as well as observations on the their education, diet and occasionally direct contradictions of Brodie's published text on the basis of Inskip's experience - as warranted by his initials: 'I found Old Mary quite the reverse G.H.I.' (p.167) Inskip was born in 1823 and joined the navy in 1843, eventually retiring as a Captain and dying in 1915. He was fascinated by the Bounty mutiny and its aftermath and the National Maritime Museum has a manuscript retelling of the events in its possession' Inskip's 'Remark Books' are held at the University of British Columbia
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