An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands in the South Pacific Ocean Posted By: Jack Benson Hakluyt Society Publications, Society Volumes An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands in the South Pacific Ocean Edited by Nigel Statham and Ian C. Campbell Hakluyt Society, Series III Volume 41, 2023 ISBN 978-1-032-352145 Volume 41 in the Hakluyt Society Third Series, An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands in the South Pacific Ocean, is the pioneering account of Tonga by John Martin (1789-1869) who was a London-based, Edinburgh-educated medical man interested in anthropological subjects. This is his only book. He was inspired to write it by a chance encounter with its subject, William Mariner (1791-1853) who spent four years (1806-1810) in Tonga, in the South Pacific, one of the earliest European residents at a time before there was much European influence on the Tongan way of life. Mariner, an extraordinarily mature and perceptive youth, learnt to speak the Tongan language and became familiar with Tongan culture after he was adopted as a son of the most powerful chief in Tonga. Martin successful relationship with Mariner resulted in a compelling story and a comprehensive account of Tongan society which has since become a classic description of a largely pre-European polynesian culture. Martin’s book is both an extraordinary real-life adventure story and a pioneering work of anthropology, and for 200 years it has been a primary and authoritative source for research into Tongan history and culture. An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands in the South Pacific Ocean is strongly recommended for anyone interested polynesian culture and the history of the South Pacific, and also to those interested in maritime exploration during the late 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. The book also contains an extensive treatment of the Tongan language. Published price £120. Distributed free to Hakluyt Society members as part of their two volume allowance for the year 2023. Society members can buy in print and print on demand volumes at a significant discount. Join the Hakluyt Society.