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An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean
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In November 1806, the damaged Port-au-Prince arrived at what Captain Cook had called the Friendly Islands. William Charles Mariner (1791–1853) was among the few crew members spared by the native inhabitants. He lived there for four years. Published in 1818, this two-volume second edition offers an important early insight into Tongan customs and language. As editor John Martin (1789–1869) explains, the structure of a nation's language is vital to the consideration of its history. So successful was the first edition of 1817 - expanded upon here to include 'generally corroborative, and in a few instances somewhat corrective' information from another erstwhile inhabitant - that within months of its publication a French translation appeared; German and American editions soon followed. Volume 1 comprises Martin's extensive introduction, the story of the ship's voyage and destruction, and an account of Mariner's stay on the islands and the events leading to his departure.

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