‘An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales: with remarks on the dispositions, customs, manners & c. of the native inhabitants of that country. To which are added, some particulars of New Zealand;  [With] An Account of the English Colony… Vol. II… [adding:] An Account of a Voyage performed by Captain Flinders and Mr. Bass; by which the existence of a strait separating  Van Dieman’s Land from the continent of New Holland was ascertained’.

Two volumes, quarto, with three engraved charts and 32 engraved plates including eight in the text (five handcoloured), some foxing, insignificant tear to one folding map. A very good set in modern calf with gold tooling along the borders. London, T. Cadell, Jun. and W. Davies.

Volume I, 1798, and volume II, 1802.

SKU SF000875, SF000876 Category


Two volume edition, with the accounts of Bass and Flinders. First edition of the complete work, published as two separate volumes four years apart. The first volume, published in 1798, is scarce today. For some reason the second volume, which came out four years later, is more difficult to find; decent uniform sets of the two are hard to come by.

Collins had arrived with the First Fleet as Judge Advocate and was Secretary to Governor Phillip. His book is a valuable account of the early settlement by an educated and observant resident of ten years, and was the last of the Australian foundation books to be published. The book is illustrated with full page engravings prepared in London by the well known artist Edward Dayes from sketches done in the colony by the convict artist Thomas Watling. They are the first views to have been published of British settlements at Sydney and Parramatta.‘The second volume is of the greatest importance, not only for its detailed chronicle of events but because of its narrative of voyages and expeditions of discovery… The journals of Bass and Flinders are of particular importance since Bass’s journal has never been recovered and… the accounts of inland expeditions recorded in the journals of John Price and Henry Hacking are singularly interesting…’ (Wantrup).

Additional information

David Collins


Ink, Paper