Sweers Islands Unveiled

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ISBN 978-82-997140-6-8

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kr 560,00kr 720,00

Sweers Islands Unveiled sheds fresh light on some of the earliest mapping of Australia, with a particular focus on Abel Tasman’s journeys in the 1640s. 

Sweers Islands Unveiled follows the paths of discoverers Abel Tasman (1603–1659) and Matthew Flinders (1774–1814) with one common factor in mind: The places they named after Salomon Sweers (1612–1674), a Councillor of the Dutch United East India Company in Batavia (Jakarta) in the 1640s.

Map section with the cleaned Bonaparte Tasman map
The Bonaparte Tasman map is one of the treasures of the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney. In 2020–21, the Library cleaned the map from old, yellowed varnish. Sweers Islands Unveiled is the first book to present this important map in a way that it has not been seen in modern times, with the map printed in sections over seven pages.

The 17th century manuscript map shows Tasman’s two journeys, and is named after one of its previous owners, prince Roland Bonaparte (1858–1924), grandson of Napoléon’s brother Lucien. The prince’s daughter, princess Marie of Greece and Denmark, gave the map to the State Library of New South Wales in 1933.

This is not a book of only local interest. In placing parts of the Australian coast under the microscope, Sweers Islands Unveiled has advanced our understanding of Abel Tasman’s voyages of 1642–43 and 1644. It is a splendid example of a good local study illuminating the wider picture, says Emeritus Curator Paul Brunton of the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, in the foreword.

You may read Sweers Islands Unveiled on many levels. It gives a short, comprehensive history of early Dutch discoveries of the South Seas, with an eye on early Spanish, French and British voyages. Following Councillor Salomon Sweers, it gives an interesting insight into the life of the Dutch United East India Company (VOC).

Detailed studies demonstrate the accuracy of Tasman’s journal sketches and the Bonaparte Tasman map, and show how we can re-create parts of Tasman’s route. By comparing the chart with other maps, it also gives an interesting and richly illustrated insight into Dutch map making in the 17th century.

On a local level, it gives the history of present-day Sweers Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Qld., the only place among the original five that still carries Salomon Sweers’ name.

Sweers Island Unveiled was first published as a booklet in 2006. This richly illustrated and heavily expanded edition is a whole new book with even further analysis. It has an unusual blend of local and general history, detailed studies and a wider view to set things in perspective. On a detailed level, it demonstrates how skilful and accurate the old navigators and their illustrators were.

From reviews after the shorter 1st edition in 2006:

«This booklet is a highly polished gem»

Professor Victor Prescott (1931–2018), University of Melbourne (The Globe, Journal of the Australian Map Circle Inc, #59 2007)

«Congratulations on a scholarly and useful book»
Manfred Cross, Royal Historical Society of Queensland

This 3rd edition is a heavily expanded version of the 2006 edition.

  • Sweers Islands Unveiled – Details from Abel Tasman & Matthew Flinders’ Explorations of Australia
  • Carsten Berg Høgenhoff, in cooperation with Lyn & Tex Battle, Bob Forsyth and Annette Sweerts
  • 128 pages, softcover
  • Richly illustrated
  • Format 220 x 280 mm
  • Høgenhoff Forlag 2022
  • ISBN 978-82-997140-6-8
  • Price: NOK 560,– + postage and handling: Norway NOK 80, Europe NOK 140, outside Europe NOK 165. Please contact us on firmapost@h-media.no or write to us via the order form below. 
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