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[VASON (George)]. An Authentic Narrative of four years' residence at Tongataboo, one of the Friendly Islands, in the South-Sea, By ------ who went thither in the Duff, under Captain Wilson, in 1796. With an Appendix, by an eminent writer.1810

London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme; L. B. Seeley, and Hatchard, First edition, 8vo (212 x 125 mm), xv, [1], [17]-234, [2]pp., errata leaf at end, engraved frontispiece and engraved map stained, text age-toned with occasional foxing, cont. half-calf, later cloth reback, corners rubbed. This is an authentic account of the life of the missionary George Vason who was one of the first ten Christian missionaries to arrive in Tonga. He left the missionaries at Tonga and lived among the natives for four years. He began to dress and live as a Tongan, and married one of the native girls. He built up an estate and became a prosperous Tongan gentlemen until the beginning of the civil wars in 1799. He was tattooed, and looked and spoke like a Tongan. He escaped the wars on the ship, Royal Admiral, and returned to Nottingham where he died in 1838. He told his story to James Orange and only two versions have been printed, this one in 1810 and one in 1840. His description of Tonga at the end of the eighteenth century is important in that it precedes William Mariner's longer account published in 1817, but the two accounts give uniquely objective reports of Tonga before and during the civil war. Hill, Pacific Voyages, p.306; Ferguson, 507b; Howgego, D37 and E9.

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