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INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN YUCATAN
London: John Murray, 1843. 2 volumes. First edition. With 120 fine engravings, including the two large multi-folding frontispieces and a folding map. The engraved plates were made from daguerreotype views and drawings by Frederick Catherwood. 8vo, very handsomely bound by Bayntun of Bath in three-quarter royal blue morocco over marbled boards, the spines richly gilt tooled with elaborate panel designs within gilt ruled compartments between gilt decorated raised bands, two compartments lettered in gilt, corner-pieces gilt ruled, t.e.g. xii, 459; xvi, 478. An ususually fine and handsome set, very well preserved and very clean, a touch of unnoticeable refurbishment to the folding plates. RARE FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION OF STEPHENS’ CLASSIC WORK ON CENTRAL AMERICA. Stephens was the first westerner to penetrate the jungles of Central America and explore the ruins of the Mayan civilization. William Catherwood's drawings of stelae and other monuments and buildings contribute enormously to the importance of the work. Their first expedition into Central America was cut short by illness before the regions of Yucatan were completely explored; this is the account of their second sojourn into those areas, to complete the work they had originally undertaken. Stephens’ work inspired generations of Meso-American scholars to preserve and explore these remarkable ruins. Catherwood’s illustrations set the standard for archaeological illustration and in this case are the earliest and sometimes the only record of these monuments. Stephens had been sent, in 1839, by President Martin Van Buren to Central America on a confidential diplomatic visit. He was accompanied by Frederick Catherwood, an English artist with archeological experience. Together, they recorded teir observations on the ancient ruins in words and sketches, publishing INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN CENTRAL AMERICA, CHIAPAS AND YUCATAN in 1841. In the same year they returned to the region for a more comprehensive study and in 843 published their second collaborative effort INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN YUCATAN. In these works, “the wonderful structures of the race of Indians which once inhabited the peninsula of Central America are here described by pen and pencil with great clearness and minuteness” (Field, 379). Stephens wrote “with a quick and keen observation, an appreciative and good-natured sense of the ludicrous, and a remarkable facility of retaining vividly to the last the freshness of first impressions” (DNB). As a result of his extensive travels and popular narrative accounts, Stephens quickly became known as “the American traveler” (DNB).
      [Bookseller: Buddenbrooks, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2013-08-01           Check availability:      Biblio    

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