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2015-01-15 23:13:13
QUIROS, Ferdinand.
Discursus siue Relatio Memorabilis (The Eighth Memorial).
Frankfurt: M. Becker, 1613. Foolscap folio, pp.13-20, some toning, but very good in magnificent red half morocco with gilt lettering by Aquarius. A rare and notably early printing of the famous Quiros memorial about the discovery of Terra Australis, the fifth part of the world. This is one of the few printings of the eighth memorial within Quiros' own lifetime.The four leaves of the memorial are extracted from the tenth part of classic collection of voyages published by Johann de Bry. The collection is essentially a history and anthology of the Dutch voyages to the East Indies and the Pacific by way of the Cape of Good Hope.Quiros, the last of the great Spanish discoverers, sailed on the Mendana expedition across the Pacific in 1595, and then commanded his own expedition of 1605-06 in search of the Terra Australis, actually discovering Tahiti and other Pacific Islands, and reaching the New Hebrides. His second-in-command, Luis Vaez de Torres, took one of the expedition's ships through the consequently named Torres Strait, and probably sighted Cape York.The remainder of Quiros's life was spent petitioning the King for an expedition with settlers to Terra Australis, without success; his secret 'Memorial' to the Spanish Court, which gradually became leaked through Europe in editions such as this, provoked the search for a southern continent that was not finished until Cook's expedition 150 years later.
Bookseller: Hordern House [Australia]

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