London, John Murray, 1848.
Octavo, xii, 392,  (advertisements) pages with several tables plus a small folding map (215 × 170 mm).
Brown cloth (lettered in gilt on the spine and decorated in blind on the spine and both sides) later rebacked, retaining the original backstrip but with replacement endpapers; cloth a little rubbed, marked and scuffed, with the corners a little worn and bumped; occasional foxing; minor signs of use and age; a very good copy.
For 'the most part the result of seven years' personal observation in the Colony of South Australia, and contains, from this source, detailed statements on the prospects of labourer and farmer, on Agriculture, Stock Farming, Building, Gardening, Manufacturing in various branches ... and Mining and Mineral Productions'. There are chapters on overlanding (31 pages) and Aborigines (52 pages). Significantly, this copy contains numerous contemporary annotations in pencil on 25 pages. Many of the comments are highly critical. A fine example is the first one in the book, at the foot of the second page of the preface, below the author's remarks about the 'capacities and kindliness of the new home which may await all who are desirous to emigrate to the splendid country and exquisite climate of South Australia'. Excuse me, what about the '*Drawbacks - Scorching sun and hot winds, clouds of dust, millions of flies and fleas and moschettos and ants, swarms of rogues and lying rascals, plenty of Thieves - also high Rents and high price of food and a deprivation of luxuries, & sometimes of the necessaries of life'. Several of the complaints relate to prices, especially of food; one of them is dated ('vegetables, we find very dear. Mar 1849'). The author finishes a few pages about fires thus: 'In a large plain covered with such materials, and on fire, there would be little chance of escape; and few lamentations would be allowed, as death would be too instantaneous. From this danger, however, so formidable in America, the Australians are happily relieved'. The man on the spot retorts: 'Black Thursday is a witness that the Australians are not always so happily relieved'. Provenance: Harold Sheard, with his bookplate designed by his wife, the artist Rose Lowcay.