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2017-11-18 16:54:10
[BANCROFT, Edward].
An Essay on The Natural History of Guiana, in South America: Containing a Description of Many Curious Productions in The Animal and Vegetable Systems of That Country. Together with An account of The Religion, Manners, and Customs of Several tribes of Its Indian Inhabitants. Interspersed with A Variety of Literary and Medical Observations. In Several Letters from A Gentleman of the Medical Faculty during his Residence in that Country.
Printed for T. Becket and P.A. De Hondt 1769. 8vo., contemporary polished calf, boards with double gilt fillet borders enclosing a blind border, spine with raised bands with gilt rope lines, lettered in gilt with gilt centre tools; pp. engraved frontispiece of two headed snake, [6] + [2] ads + iv ads + 402 + [2] ads. Spine a little faded and rubbed, previous owner's bookplate to front pastedown, otherwise a very good copy. First edition. Bancroft (1744-1821) settled in Guiana in 1763 after running away to sea from Westfield, Massachusetts; in 1769 he removed to England where he composed this Essay. Later, he became friends with Benjamin Franklin and Joseph Priestley and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. "When the breach with the American colonies became complete, Bancroft seems to have acted as a spy in London for Franklin . In 1777 he was suspected of complicity in the attempt to burn Portsmouth dockyard, but he escaped to France" (DNB). In this copy the Contents leaves are bound before the main text and the unnumbered adverts are split between front and back.
Bookseller: Henry Sotheran Ltd. [United Kingdom]

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