STEPHENS, John Loyd.
Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan.
With Numerous Engravings.
First edition, first printing. John Lloyd Stephens (1805–1852) was an American diplomat, explorer and writer, best remembered for his pioneering research on the ancient Maya civilisation of Central America. In 1839, President Martin Van Buren appointed Stephens as Special Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Central America (modern Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador). This two-volume work is an account of his travels between 1839 and 1840, while Stephens visited and recorded ancient Mayan sites. He describes Copán, Palenque and 42 other ancient sites, with over 50 illustrations drawn by his travelling companion Frederick Catherwood (1799–1854), a professional architect and draftsman. Stephens’s detailed descriptions and Catherwood’s meticulous drawings were far more accurate and comprehensive than previous publications, and kindled Victorian interest in the ancient Maya civilisation.
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2 volumes, octavo (225 140 mm). Bound in recent dark blue morocco, titles and decoration to spine gilt, boards ruled gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With map and 84 plates with tissue-guards. Contents mildly foxed throughout, short closed tear to map stub. An excellent set, attractively bound.