London, Rodwell & Martin, 1823.
Quarto (trimmed to 265 x 180 mm), unpaginated but comprising a frontispiece vignette ('Sicilian Cottage'), an engraved title page with a vignette ('Crater of Mount Etna'; verso blank), 60 full-page plates (versos blank), each with a leaf of descriptive text (English on one side, the French translation on the verso) and a tissue-guard, and 3 index pages.
Contemporary full black morocco extensively gilt- and blind-decorated, all edges gilt; leather a little rubbed at the extremities, with minor wear to the corners; minimal foxing and some offsetting (confined mainly to the tissue-guards); an excellent copy with the ownership signatures of J. Woodhouse (Brasenose College, 1839) and E. Angas Johnson on the front endpaper.
William Light (1786-1839), soldier and surveyor, was born in Malaya and spent his childhood in Penang. He served with distinction (and was unharmed) in the Peninsular war. He missed Waterloo, but was severely wounded in a minor Spanish revolution in 1823. In the years before (and after) this, he travelled widely in Europe, and mixed with artistic and literary circles; the material in this book stems from this period. He was appointed the first Surveyor-General of South Australia in February 1836; in December of that year he determined the site of Adelaide, and his plan gave the city its belt of parklands. He died from tuberculosis in October 1839. Edward Angas Johnson (1873-1951) was an Adelaide medical practitioner, prominent in public health circles; his grandmother was a daughter of George Fife Angas. 'His hobby was collecting curios and historical relics, especially those relating to South Australian history. This remarkable collection and his library were distributed to public institutions before his death' (all biographical details are from the Australian Dictionary of Biography).