An account of the Pelew
Islands, situated in the western part of the Pacific Ocean.
We later learn, however, that Nature ultimately triumphs--"that [the ship] the Antelope had been despatched to annex the Pelew
Islands for Great Britain, instead of which the Pelews
have annexed the Antelope, and she now forms part of the coral reef at Oroora" (311).
Traces of the noble savage could still be found, as in the popular account by George Keate of the experience of Captain Wilson and his men marooned in 1783 on the Pelew
(or Pelau) Islands in the Caroline Archipelago south-east of the Philippines--a work which appeared in 1788.
As with Darwin, the numerous breeds fascinate Moore, and their origin (more ancient "than/Solomon") fans into a list of pigeons of the past (102), the names of pigeons highlighting human domestication, so that "Sergeant Dunn, /civilian pigeon" blurs with fanciful and geographic names recognized in scientific treatises: the Pelew
, the Nicobar, the Papuan, the Samoan "tooth-billed pigeon fortunately/survives also--" (104).
He was swayed in his formative years as a poet by the Christian Pacific adventurer Captain Wilson's account of "The Interesting and Affecting History of Prince Lee Boo," a native of the Pelew
Islands, as related by Keate.
A new term in geography, used to designate a great number of isles in the Pacific ocean, as the Pelew
isles, the Ladrones, the Carolines, the Sandwich isles, the Marquesas, the Society isles and the Friendly isles.