Six Months in South Australia; with Some Account of Port Philip [sic] and Portland Bay, in Australia Felix; with Advice to Emigrants; to which is added a Monthly Calendar of Gardening and Agriculture. Adapted to the Climate and Seasons
London, J. Cross, 1838.
Octavo, vi, [ii] (errata, verso blank), 208, , 209-296 (last page blank),  (publisher's advertisements) pages plus a small (one page) plan of Victor Harbor and a folding frontispiece map of the Port Lincoln district (201 × 243 mm); both maps are dated January 1839.
Original blind-patterned green cloth lettered in gilt 'James's South Australia, Port Philip [sic], and Australia Felix. 1839' on the front cover; cloth very lightly marked and slightly rubbed at the extremities, with minimal wear to the corners and the foot of the (slightly sunned) spine; endpapers and the folding map offset and a little foxed, with occasional foxing elsewhere; a very good copy, uncut and with 30 leaves unopened. The small label of 'Henry Hooper, Bookseller, 13 Pall Mall East' is on the front pastedown.
The unnumbered four-page postscript after page 208 provides a summary of Adelaide newspapers 'received up to the 14th July'; in it, mention is made of Eyre's overlanding expedition from Port Phillip to Adelaide in 1838, during which he discovered and named Lake Hindmarsh. In the lengthy appendix, James 'prints the journals of several private expeditions undertaken in the early years of settlement, including an account of Hawdon's famous overlanding expedition as well as other expeditions to Encounter Bay, Lake Alexandrina and to the River Murray' (Wantrup). The 30-page 'Manual of Gardening', almost certainly compiled by the author, is engagingly specific: 'those lofty whirlwinds, so peculiar to the Plains of Cowandilla'; 'this province must become, some day or other, a wine country', and then refers the reader to Busby; 'January is very hot, need to water night and morning'. Crittenden speaks very highly of this work: 'Part of this book contains a monthly gardening calendar. This can probably be regarded as the first gardening guide for South Australia ... [published] only three years after Shepherd's "Horticulture of New South Wales"', the first separate gardening book published in Australia. The flyleaf is signed 'Wm Molesworth', and legibly offset onto it is his armorial bookplate (no longer present in fact); on the rear pastedown is a light pencil sketch of a male head and shoulders; the list of errata has two extras added in pencil - all in all, a wonderful provenance. Sir William Molesworth (1810-55), the British politician, was 'returned as member of East Cornwall (December 1832) in the first reformed parliament.... [H]is especial province was colonial policy. He obtained a committee to inquire into the system of transportation in 1837, and wrote the report. He continued to attack the system, and contributed to its ultimate abandonment. In his colonial policy he accepted the theories of Edward Gibbon Wakefield ... He supported all measures for colonial self-government, and protested with his party against the coercive measures adopted by the whig ministry during the Canadian troubles, after championing Lord Durham's policy' ('Dictionary of National Biography'). If his portrait attached to his entry in Wikipedia is anything to go by, the sketch in this copy may well be a self-portrait. Ferguson 2525 (not noting the four-page insert or the small map); McLaren 10400 (basically copying Ferguson); Crittenden 10.