In 1798, Matthew Flinders was appointed lieutenant in charge to navigate around Van Diemen's Land. A skilled cartographer, Flinders was accompanied by the surgeon and botanist George Bass. This trip was a success: the explorers show that Van Diemen's Land, later renamed Tasmania, is an island.
In 1800 and 1801, Flinders had three maps printed by Arrowsmith in London. He inserts them in 1801 in a small book dedicated to Banks, titled Observations on the coasts of Van Diemen's land, on Bass's strait and its islands, and on part of the coasts of New South Wales, intended to accompany the charts of the late discoveries.
The name of Bass to designate the strait between New South Wales and Tasmania will soon become official. The next trip of Flinders is another feat: in 1803 he completed the first circumnavigation of New Holland. He will be a promoter of the use of the word Australia instead of New Holland.
The 1801 book is extremely rare. A complete copy with its three maps is estimated £ 150K, for sale by Sotheby's in London on September 30, lot 479.