LA PÉROUSE, Jean-François (1741-1788?) - Voyage de la Pérouse autour du monde. Paris: L'Imprimerie de la République, 1797. A handsome first edition on blue paper with text vols bound in red morocco of "one of the finest narratives of maritime exploration ever written" (Howell). La Pérouse, a veteran of the American Revolution and the Seven Years’ War, commanded the Astrolabe and the Boussole on a voyage of discovery into the Pacific. He disappeared at sea after setting out from Botany Bay in 1788; the ships were found wrecked on the reef of Vanikolo thirty-nine years later. This was the first French expedition to visit Alaska and the first non-Spanish European expedition to stay at the Spanish settlements in California. The voyage is especially celebrated for its superb mapping of the Alaskan and Californian coasts. Forbes 272; Hill 972; Howes L-93; Lada-Mocarski 52; Sabin 38960, Streeter sale 3493; Wickersham 6611; Zamorano 49. Half-titles, engraved title in atlas and 69 engraved plates (text without final blank, lacking engraved portrait, light occasional waterstaining; atlas with very light occasional waterstagining and few leaves lightly browned). Text vols in contemporary red morocco decorated in gilt on panels, spines and edges (in good condition, very lightly rubbed at extremities and with light waterstaining); atlas in contemporary mottled calf, blue edges (extremities lightly rubbed, small chips). Provenance: S.P. Eugenii (bookplate).