1800: First full account of Burma
An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava,
sent by the Governor-General of India in the year 1795. London printed by W. Bulmer and Co., and sold by Messrs G. and W. Nicol, Booksellers to His Majesty; and J. Wright. 1800
First edition Folio, 33 x 24.5 cm, pp.xxiii, [1, errata], 503, [1, directions to binder], 26 engraved plates and 2 maps, 6 folding. Without half-title. Large folding map torn without loss, a little soiled at edges. A large paper copy bound in contemporary half morocco, marbled boards. Some wear to corners and edges.
The first full account of Burma to be published, containing a wealth of information on the history, religion, government, social system, language, geography and economy of the country, together with a narrative of his seven months stay and his reception at court. Symes was accompanied by Francis Buchanan, who was responsible for the eight botanical plates and descriptions of 'rare and curious' plants. The other plates are by the Indian artist Singey Bey. This first official embassy was a success; permission was obtained to establish a British Resident at Rangoon to supervise British commercial affairs.