- Complete copy. Foxed almost throughout (also affecting the plates); occas. (erasable) underlining and marginal marks in pencil. Both vols. joints professionally restored, but upper joint of vol.II splitting at top end.
= Abbey, Travel, 719; Cox II, p.285; Sabin 91075; Van Doorne/ Van Kempen 6452; Rouffaer/ Muller p.624; Kolfin p.43-48 and passim. The most desirable work on Surinam, formerly known as the colony of Dutch Guiana. Captain John Gabriel Stedman, officer in the Scots Brigade in Holland, volunteered for service in the campaign against the black slaves in Dutch Guiana. During his stay there he married Joanna, a Mulatto, subject of plate 8. "While he did his duty as a soldier (...) he does not disguise his sympathy with the rebels (...) His description of the cruelties practised on the negroes, and of the moral deteriation resulting to their masters, forms one of the most vivid indictments of slavery that have ever been penned." (DNB). "De spannende tekst met informatieve beschrijvingen en prachtige illustraties had grote invloed op de beeldvorming omtrent slavernij. Enkele elementen uit het relaas werden voortdurend benadrukt: de gruwelijkheid van de slavernij en het romantisch verhaal van de jonge militair die er niet in slaagde zijn mooie en geliefde slavin Joanna vrij te kopen. (...) In de Narrative komt de auteur naar voren als iemand die slavernij niet wil afschaffen, maar wel een menswaardige behandeling van slaven eist." (Kolfin). The following quote from the Wikipedia entry on Stedman hightlights the relationship between Stedman and William Blake: "Stedman's Narrative associated him with some of Europe's foremost radicals. His publisher, Johnson, was imprisoned in 1797 for printing the political writings of Gilbert Wakefield. Johnson commissioned William Blake and Francesco Bartolozzi to create engravings for the Narrative. Blake engraved sixteen images for the book and delivered them in December 1792 and 1793, as well as a single plate in 1794. The images depict some of the horrific atrocities against slaves that Stedman witnessed, including hanging, lashing and other forms of torture. The Blake plates are more forceful than other illustrations in the book and have the "fluidity of line" and "hallucinatory quality of his original work". It is impossible to compare Stedman's sketches with the Blake plates because none of Stedman's original drawings have survived. Through their collaboration, Blake and Stedman became close friends. They visited one another often, and Blake later included some of his images from Stedman's Narrative in his poem "Visions of the Daughters of Albion"." SEE ILLUSTRATIONS PLATE CXXIV.