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PURCHAS, Samuel.

Purchas his Pilgrimes....

In five bookes… [Together with:] Purchas his Pilgrimage.

Availability: In stock

Published: London William Stansby for Henrie Fetherstone, 1625-6

Stock Code: 120132

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition of Purchas his Pilgrimes, with the preferred fourth edition of the Pilgrimage; together this is the desired state of the complete set of Purchas's important collection of travel and exploration narratives from ancient times up to and including the recent accounts of Virginia by John Smith. This is a lovely set in 18th-century calf. The Pilgrimes was conceived as a continuation of Hakluyt, based in part on Hakluyt's remaining manuscripts, which Purchas had acquired about 1620, augmented by almost 20 years' collecting oral and written accounts of travels in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The four-volume folio took more than three years to print; at the time of its publication it was the largest book ever seen through the English press. "Unlike Hakluyt, Purchas attempted to construct an argument upon geographical and historical evidence that was cosmopolitan, pan-European, global, and transhistorical... John Locke even-handedly advised in 1703 that for 'books of travel the collections made by our countrymen, Hakluyt and Purchas, are very good'" (ODNB). "Today, Pilgrimes remains an indispensable resource for geographers, anthropologists, and historians alike, providing, among other things, prime sources for the early history of the Jamestown colony, and perhaps the best defence ever composed to justify England's claims to North America" (James William Kelly in Speake ed., Literature of Travel and Exploration, p. 985). In this set Pilgrimes has the engraved title page (often lacking) dated 1625, the map of Virginia in vol. IV in the 10th state according to Burden, with the whole engraved area present (often trimmed with loss). Pilgrimage, fourth edition, issued concurrently as a supplement, is the usual issue with the first quire reset, the title beginning Purchas (the other setting has Purchase), and the added dedication to King Charles. First published in 1613, the Pilgrimage gives Purchas's account of the various religions encountered throughout the world.

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Together 5 volumes (the supplemental Pilgrimage comprising the fifth volume), folio (330 x 207 mm). Uniformly bound in mid-18th-century calf, rebacked with original decorative gilt spines laid down, red and green morocco labels, blind roll-tool border on sides, marbled edges and endpapers.


Engraved additional title to vol. I (second issue, dated 1625; usually absent), 88 engraved maps (7 double-page or folding: the Virginia map in volume IV in Verner's state 7, that of China in volume III loosely inserted and on a slightly smaller sheet; 81


Late 17th-century ownership inscriptions of "Rob. Williams his booke" on title pages of vols. II and III; engraved armorial bookplates of Sir Charles Tennant (1823-1906), industrialist, who amassed a notable library at his Scottish Borders estate, The Glen, Peeblesshire. Bindings professionally refurbished, a few light abrasions and shallow scratches, occasional light browning, a few marginal tears, some light offsetting of engraving onto letterpress, a few natural flaws and rust-holes, and the following minor defects: volume 1, H1 lower fore-corner torn away without loss of text, closed-tear in 2C4, old splash marks on 4Q2 (recto and verso); volume 2, old repaired tear at inner corner of 4Y just touching edge of map of Barbaria and Egypt, paper flaw at upper fore-corner of 6F2, paper flaw at fore-edge of 6H frayed with very minor loss to map of "Terra Sancta" on verso, map of Germany (6L3 verso) just shaved to neat line along outer edge, closed-tear in 6Y along lower platemark of map of Europe (but with no loss), small hole in 8P3; volume 4, repaired closed-tear at lower margin of 5V6, paper flaw at lower fore-corner of 6C3 and lower edge of 7D6, printing flaw at edge of map of England (8B2 verso), faint dampstaining and a small stain on double-page map of China. A very good set, with the blank leaf R4 in volume 1 (frequently wanting).


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