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Bucaniers of America:
London: William Crooke,, 1684 & 1685. or, a true Account of the Most remarkable Assaults Committed of late Years upon the Coasts if the West-Indies, by the Bucaniers of Jamaica and Tortuga, Both English and French. Wherein are contained more especially, The Unparall'd Exploits of Sir Henry Morgan, our English Jamaican Hero who sack'd Puerto Velo, burnt Panama, &c. Written originally in Dutch, by John Esquemeling, one of the Bucaniers, who was present at those Tragedies; and thence translated into Spanish, by Alonso de Bonnemaison, Doctor of Physick, and Practitioner at Amsterdam. Now faithfully rendred into English. [together with:] RINGROSE, Basil. Bucaniers of America. The Second Volume. Containing the Dangerous Voyage and Bold Attempts of Captain Bartholomew Sharp, and others; performed upon the Coasts of the South Sea, for the space of two years, &c. From the Original Journal of the said Voyage. 2 volumes, small quarto (205 × 160 mm). Late 19th century red crushed morocco by Bedford, richly gilt spine, three-line gilt border on sides enclosing central gilt panel with floriate corner-pieces, all edges gilt, richly gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers; housed in a custom made fleece-lined red cloth slipcase. The first-named with 4 engraved portraits, 4 engraved plates (1 double-page, 1 folding), engraved double-page map of Panama, allegorical head-piece, and a woodcut; the second with 2 engraved folding maps (one large), 13 full-page engraved maps and charts which are included in the pagination, a full-page engraved city-plan and 42 woodcuts of coastal profiles in the text. Embossed library stamp of Donald Duncan MacDermid on a preliminary binder's blank. Light bump to back bottom corner, map of South America skilfully repaired (short closed-tear in the margin), last three leaves skilfully remargined at the bottom edge and gutter. First English edition of Exquemelin; first edition of Ringrose. Exquemlin first appeared in Dutch in 1678, the present edition being translated from Alonso de Buena Maison's Spanish edition of 1681. The two works together form the primary contemporary source in English for the history of the English and French Buccaneers, or more politely 'privateers,' who harassed Spanish shipping and colonies in the Caribbean during the seventeenth century, as Sabin averred; "No book in any language was ever the source of so many imitations, and the source of so many fictions as this." A Huguenot native to Honfleur, Exquemelin left France in 1666 as an indentured servant bound for the Antilles. On Tortuga, he was sold to a nefarious government officer, and later resold to a doctor who taught him some of the skills of a barber-surgeon, offered Exquemelin his freedom for a price, and gave him a few surgical tools. By the end of the 1660's, Exquemelin became a flibustier, or privateer. He probably served with Jean-David Nau l'Olonnais, and participated in the raid of Maracaibo in 1669. He later took part in Henry Morgan's sack of Panama in 1670-71. Soon thereafter, Exquemelin abandoned piracy, returned to Europe, and studied medicine in Amsterdam, where he completed this account. He later returned to America several times as a ship's surgeon aboard Dutch and Spanish vessels. He writes in considerable detail about raids upon various settlements throughout the West Indies, fights with Indians, encounters with other pirates, and acts of torture committed by the marauding bands upon the region's inhabitants. Although some of his dates are questionable, Exquemelin's account is considered among the most reliable of the period. The second volume, containing Basil Ringrose's narrative of Bartholomew Sharp's depredations on the Pacific coast, is similarly prized for its accuracy; "He was…one of five buccaneers, including William Dampier and Lionel Wafer, who kept a journal of the expedition. His narrative is by far the most detailed account of the voyage" (ODNB). Ringrose is also renowned for his capture and copying of the Rosario's derrotero or waggoner, which contained secret pilotage instructions for the whole of the Pacific coast of America. It is extremely unusual to find the two volumes together in first editions; "It is more usual to find Volume I of the first edition alone; or Volume I of the second edition combined with Volume II of the first edition" (Church). A highly desirable volume, particularly so in this lovely binding by one of the foremost London bookbinders of the period.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2015-12-15           Check availability:      Biblio    

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