A Voyage to Cochinchina, in the Years 1792 and 1793: Containing a General View of the Valuable Productions and the Political Importance of This Flourishing Kingdom is a recount of the embassy’s journey to Cochinchina (now Vietnam) via Brazil and Java. In one of the first illustrated accounts of the country in English, Barrow applies his boundless curiosity and elegant style to history, politics, local customs, and the flora and fauna. His autobiography and several other volumes of his travel writing are also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection.
A staunch supporter of exploration, Sir John Barrow (1764–1848) backed expeditions to Africa, Australia, the Arctic and the Antarctic during his forty-year tenure as Second Secretary to the Admiralty. In his early career, he served as an aide to the diplomat Lord Macartney, joining him on his 1792–4 embassy to China, and during his later governorship of the Cape of Good Hope. Barrow was a prolific author, setting new standards of detail and accuracy for travel writing.