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First Edition book on Christmas Island. Charles Andrews, 1900.

First Edition book on Christmas Island. Charles Andrews, 1900.

by Andrews, Charles W.

A Monograph of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean): Physical Features and Geology by Charles W. Andrews, B.A., B.Sc., F.G.S. with descriptions of the Fauna and Flora by numerous contributors. Illustrated by twenty-two plates, a map, and numerous illustrations in the text.
London: Printed by Order of the Trustees. Sold by Longmans and Co, B. Quaritch, Dulau and Co, W. Kegan Paul and Co., and at the British Museum (Natural History). 1900.      (225 x 140 x 30mm)
Brown covered boards with gilt lettering on spine. Spine ends slightly worn, particularly at top, but covers firm. Internally quite clean except for slight age-discolouration of pages and a little foxing.

This monograph, commissioned from British Museum paleontologist Charles William Andrews (1866-1924) during 1897-8, prior the first phosphate mine being opened in 1900, is illustrated by a fold-out map of Christmas Island (27 x 35cm), 2 animal chromolithographs by Joseph Smit, 4 bird chromolithographs by John Gerrard Keulemans, 22 full page black and white collotype images of flora and fauna and many other figures and illustrations.

Christmas Island was first sighted in 1615 by Richard Rowe, master of the Thomas. Another Englishman, Captain William Mynors of the British East India Company, named the island as they sailed past on Christmas Day in 1643. A third Englishman (the first Englishman to land in Australia), was William Dampier, navigator on the buccaneer vessel Cygnet with Captain Read in 1688. Dampier recorded in his journal that two canoes were sent ashore.
In 1887 specimens of soil and rock were taken from Christmas Island on HMS Egeria to England, where analysis by John Murray found them nearly pure phosphate of lime. Britain annexed Christmas Island in 1887, and the first settlement was established by George Clunies-Ross whose grandfather, John Clunies-Ross had been cultivated coconut palms for copra on plantations at nearby Cocos (Keeling) Islands since 1827.

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Stock Number: AB200ChristmasIs.Price: $1,200.00