5 April 2016
BENZONI, Girolamo. Novae novi orbis historiae, id est rerum ab Hispanis in India Occidentali hactenus gestarum, & acerbo illorum in eas gentes dominatu. - LE CHAILLEUX, Nicolas. De gallorum expedition in Floridam, & clade ab Hispanis non minus iniustè quàm immaniter ipsis illata, Anno 1565, Brevis Historia. [Geneva:] Eustace Vignon, 1578.
Two parts in one volume, 8° (170 x 103 mm). Woodcut anchor device on title, initials, head- and tail-pieces. (A few small stains on title, some occasional light spotting.) Contemporary pigskin over wooden boards, elaborately blocked in blind, brass clasps and catches. Provenance: Sir Thomas Phillipps (initials “MHC” inscribed on upper left corner of front fly-leaf recto); unidentified stamp at foot of final leaf.
FIRST LATIN EDITION, FIRST ISSUE with the title-page dated 1578 (the second issue consists of the same sheets with a cancel title dated 1581). This is the first edition of Benzoni to include the translator Le Chailleux's account of the Spanish destruction of the French Huguenot colony in Florida in the 1660s. The circulation of Benzoni's book was forbidden in Spain, but it enjoyed great popularity in the other European countries, and because of this wide readership, news of France's venture in Florida spread throughout the Continent. Benzoni was born in Milan around 1519 and at the age of twenty-two left Italy to tour the New World. After fourteen years of travel he returned and published the first edition (in Italian: Venice, 1565). His detailed description of the Indians before the great period of European influence adds importance to his description. Field notes that Benzoni's work is "the first book of Travels of which America has been so fruitful, as Benzoni seems to have been the first who travelled merely to gratify his curiosity and recorded his observations." Alden & Landis 578/3; Adams B-685; Arents Tobacco 25; Field 119; JBC (3) I:283; Palau 27629; Sabin 4792.
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