Photographs taken by naval commander Paul-Emile Miot during an expedition to Polynesia aboard the ‘Astree’ in 1869. They represent the first photographic record of the South Sea people. Miot took extraordinary care with the composition of his views and the staging of his portraits. In his pictures he seems to have wanted to capture a paradise as the Westwern world of the 19th century liked to imagine it. Also included within the book are drawings of Tahiti by artists such as Conway Shipley, and quotations from Herman Melville.