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VOIAGE AND TRAVAILE OF SIR JOHN MAUNDEVILE - Maundevile, John [Mandeville Sir Jo - 1839. [1199906]
London: Edward Lumley, 1839. First edition with Halliwell's introduction and additions. Illustrated with an engraved frontispiece, vignette title-page and many illustrations throughout the text in the style of medieval woodcuts. 8vo, publisher's original green cloth, the upper cover with large coat of arms in gilt and additional decoration in blind, blind decoration on the lower cover and in gilt with gilt lettering on the spine. vxii, xii, 326, 2 ads pp. An unusually handsome and well preserved copy, as fine and highly unusual for a book of the period, especially as this copy is preserved in its original early cloth binding. FIRST EDITION WITH HALLIWELL'S INTRODUCTION AND ADDITIONS AND A BEAUTIFULLY PRESERVED COPY. 'In his preface the compiler calls himself a knight, and states that he was born and bred in England, of the town of St Albans. Although the book is real, it is widely believed that 'Sir John Mandeville' himself was not. Common theories point to a Frenchman by the name of Jehan a la Barbe (or other possibilities discussed below). The most recent scholarly work suggests that The Travels of Sir John Mandeville was “the work of Jan de Langhe, a Fleming who wrote in Latin under the name Johannes Longus and in French as Jean le Long."] Jan de Langhe was born in Ypres early in the 1300s and by 1334 had become a Benedictine monk at the abbey of Saint-Bertin in Saint-Omer which was about 20 miles from Calais. After studying law at the University of Paris, de Langhe returned to the abbey and was elected abbot in 1365. He was a prolific writer and avid collector of travelogues, right up to his death in 1383. John de Mandeville crossed the sea on 1322; had traversed by way of Turkey (Asia Minor), Armenia the Little (Cilicia) and the Great, Tartary, Persia, Syria, Arabia, Egypt upper and lower, Libya, great part of Ethiopia, Chaldea, Amazonia, India the Less, the Greater and the Middle, and many countries about India; had often been to Jerusalem, and had written in Romance as more generally understood than Latin. In the body of the work, we hear that he had been at Paris and Constantinople; had served the Sultan of Egypt for a long time in his wars against the Bedouin, and had been offered, and declined, a princely marriage and a great estate on condition of renouncing Christianity, and had left Egypt under Sultan Melech Madabron (al-Muzaffar Sayf-ad-Din Hajji I who reigned in 1346-1347); had been at Mount Sinai, and had visited the Holy Land with letters under the great seal of the sultan, which gave him extraordinary facilities; had been in Russia, Livonia, Kraków, Lithuania, "en roialme daresten" (Dristra or Silistra in Bulgaria), and many other parts near Tartary, but not in Tartary itself; had drunk of the Well of Youth at Polombe (Quilon on the Malabar coast), and still seemed to feel the better for it; had taken astronomical observations on the way to Lamory (Sumatra), as well as in Brabant, Germany, Bohemia and still farther north; had been at an isle called Pathen in the Indian Ocean; had been at Cansay (Hangchow-fu) in China, and had served the emperor of China for fifteen months...had been through a haunted valley, which he places near "Milstorak" (i.e. Malasgird in Armenia); had been driven home against his will in 1357 by arthritic gout; and had written his book as a consolation for his "wretched rest".' Copies of this work are scarce in the marketplace.
      [Bookseller: Buddenbrooks, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2016-09-19           Check availability:      Biblio    

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