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L'Histoire de l'Amérique. traduite de l'Anglois
Paris: Panckouke, 1778. 2 volumes, 4to (253 x 190 mm). [2] leaves, xx, 540; [1] leaf, 553, [2] pp. 4 folding engraved maps: of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, South America, Mexico, and present-day Panama, Colombia and Ecuador, all by Benard, and one fold-out engraved plate; woodcut head- and tail-pieces (A few quires darkened, occasional light spotting especially in vol. 2, otherwise a fine copy). Contemporary French cats-paw calf, spines gilt, red morocco gilt lettering-pieces, edges red-stained (joints and heads of spines worn). Provenance: armorial bookplate in vol. 2 of Madame du Bu de Longchamp (lost from vol. 1); from the library of Dr. Horacio Zorraquin Becu (1908-88), collector of South American travel literature. First edition of this French translation of Robertson's important history of the European conquest of the Americas. Robertson, historiographer to the Scottish Crown and principal of the University of Edinburgh, was one of the first to apply scientific exactitude to the study of archival sources on the Americas. First published in 1777, his History received universal praise for the meticulousness and thoroughness of his scholarship and the highly readable lucidity of his prose. The work furthermore holds a special place in historiography: Robertson's innovative application of generalizing principles to his descriptions of aboriginal societies has earned him recognition as "one of the earliest cultural anthropologists" (E. A. Hoebel, "William Robertson: an 18th Century Anthropologist-Historian," American Anthropologist, 62:648-655, 1960). The book's publication at the time of the American Revolution stimulated readers' interest, and numerous translations into the major European languages appeared in quick succession (a different French translation was published in 1777, in duodecimo format). Like all the early editions this one contains only books I-VIII; two more books, on the British colonies in North America, were published posthumously, in 1796. An extensive bibliography of printed and manuscript sources used for the work appears at the end of the second volume. AN ATTRACTIVE COPY. Sabin 71991. For more information about this book, or a warm welcome to see it and other books in our library at 72nd Street, NYC, please contact Kate Hunter, M.A. Oxon, in the Rare Book Department, on 1 212 628 3668, or katehunter at aradergalleries dot com .
      [Bookseller: Arader Galleries]
Last Found On: 2013-08-01           Check availability:      Biblio    

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