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A utopian civilization discovered in Terra Australis

Geschichte der Sevaramben aus dem Französischen übersetzt vom Verfasser des Siegfried von Lindenberg.
Itzehoe, Johan Gottwerth Müller, 1783. 8vo.
(2) MÜLLER, Johann Gottwerth. Literarische Anmerkungen über die Geschichte der Severamben. Eine Beylage zur Uebersetzung dieses Buchs. Göttingen, Johann Christian Dieterich, 1783. 2 works, the first in 2 parts, in 2 volumes. 8vo. With a small illustration on each of the three title-pages. Contemporary half calf. 350, [2 blank]; 302, [2 blank], 31, [1 blank] pp.
€ 3,500
First edition of the second German translation of the important utopian novel Histoire des Sevarambes (Paris, 1677) by the Huguenot author Denis Vairasse (or Veiras), set in Terra Australis. The framework for the story was provided by the ill-fated voyage of the VOC ship De Vergulde Draeck, wrecked off the coast of Western Australia in 1656. The narrator, Captain Siden, sails in De Vergulde Draeck to Terra Australis, where the ship runs aground. The castaways subsequently discover a utopian civilisation, marked by natural theology and a rationalist social system.
The translator and publisher of the present German edition, Johann Gottwerth Müller (1743-1828), was an author in his own right and an ardent supporter of the European Enlightenment. The present copy is bound with Müller's Literarische Anmerkungen, in which he discusses the political, social and religious implications of Vairasse's utopia.
Bindings show some signs of wear, very slight foxing throughout the 2 vols., very small hole in the foot margins of vol. 2 not affecting the text. With an owners stamp in the lower outside corners of both half-titles. Griep, Reiseliteratur und Geographica 1427; cf. Davidson, pp. 42-43; Fausett, Writing the New World, pp. 113-129.
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Australia, new zealand & pacific  >  Australia & New Zealand
Cartography & exploration  >  Imaginary Voyages & Utopias
Literature & linguistics  >  Imaginary Voyages & Utopias