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A Collection of Voyages and Travels
London: John Walthoe, 1732. In fine condition.. Eight volumes, folio, two works in matching binding, some 213 engraved plates including work by Herman Moll, Johannes Kip, and others (many double-page or folding), engraved and woodcut illustrations throughout; a handsome set in late eighteenth-century Russia, marbled edges. A splendid set of the two great voyage anthologies of the early eighteenth century, in handsome contemporary matched bindings. This set contains the Churchill anthology in its second improved edition and the first edition of the supplementary Osborne series, better known as the "Harleian" or "Oxford Voyages".Copies of the various editions of the Churchill Collection, in particular, do appear on the market from time to time, but almost always in dilapidated condition - the result of their substantial size and the use that they were subjected to as the major source for voyage information in the early eighteenth century. This copy is in superb condition, the bindings bright and the text and plates remarkably fresh. The substantial volumes contain many accounts of voyages to a great many places, a number of accounts appearing for the first time, or at least for the first time in English. Originally published in 1704 in four volumes, it appears here in its second, much augmented six-volume edition.The success of the work is a reflection of an audience keenly interested in what was a time of energetic exploration and trade expansion throughout the world. For example, the first volume here contains descriptions of the lands and peoples of China, Formosa, Japan, the Congo, and South Africa, lands just beginning to be known to Europeans, as well as accounts of relatively less mysterious but still unfamiliar places such as Egypt and the Ukraine.The final two volumes of the Churchill anthology contain materials new to this edition. The fifth volume is devoted largely to Africa, containing accounts of the lands which in the seventeenth century were called Guinea and Lower Ethiopia, but which in fact include the entire coast from Senegal through Angola. Native life, European settlements, animals, natural products, and much more are described in great detail. There is also a translation from the Spanish of Herrera's account of the discoveries of Columbus.The contents of the other volumes are varied, with reports of the Solomon Islands, Dutch shipwrecks in the East Indies, Ovalle's work on Chile (with a fine depiction of the Southern Cross), Virginia, attempts to discover a Northwest Passage, the sages of India, and the land of Tonqueen, now North Vietnam, among very many other reports. Much of the third volume is Baldaeus' work on the East Indies translated from the Dutch, while Nieuhoff's work on the East Indies, also translated, appears in the second volume.The plates are of special appeal, often showing very striking scenes of exotic life, particularly in tropical climes. They include detailed depictions of natives involved in sometimes fascinating activities (witchcraft, elephant catching) as well as many plates of botanical and zoological interest and a number of views of harbours or military engagements.This set is supplemented by the two-volume work by Thomas Osborne, generally known as the "Harleian Voyages" or the "Oxford Voyages". These two very scarce volumes were published by Osborne from the unpublished manuscripts in the collection of the earl of Oxford. Although separately published much later, the two Osborne volumes are often described as a supplement to the Churchill collection of voyages.Osborne's first volume comprises travels mainly in the Near and Middle East, while the second volume comprises voyages to India, East Asia, the East Indies, Africa, and North America. The maps are after Dutch cartographer Herman Moll and the frontispiece map in the second volume is "A Chart of the East Indies?" with the north and north-west coasts of Australia delineated in accordance with Dutch discoveries.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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