London, South Kensington
1 April 2015
CLAUDE CHARLES LEROY BACQUEVILLE DE LA POTHERIE (1663-1736)
Histoire de l'Amerique septentrionale. Paris: Jean-Luc Nion and François Didot, 1722-1721. 4 volumes, 12º (158 x 88mm). Engraved frontispiece by I.B. Scotin, 28 engraved plates and maps, 12 folding, including a double-sided sheet of music. (Vol. I lacks B1, ownership stamp slightly affecting legibility of titles, some browning and spotting of text, a few burn marks, folding plate opposite p. 101 in vol. I with marginal tear.) Mid 19th-century, roan-backed mottled boards (rubbed). Provenance: Society of Jesus, Leyden (stamps on titles).
FIRST EDITION. In volume I of this copy, there is a jump in pagination from page 10 to 15. Pp. 11-12 were omitted in the pagination. Pp. 13-14 (B1), not present here, contain in part the same text as pp. 9-10 with the substitution of some lines of poetry not appearing on p. 9. Léon Pouliot in DCB notes that the first volume ‘is the best written and the most trustworthy. Here La Potherie is an eye witness and an excellent observer. His letters on the governments of Quebec, Trois-Rivières, and Montreal offer a fairly complete picture of Canada.’ Volume II concentrates on the Indian nations and their relations with the French colony, La Potherie contenting himself with information from reliable witnesses: Louis Jolliet, the Jesuit missionaries, and especially Nicolas Perrot. Volumes III and IV follow with an account of the Iroquois wars and the peace parleys resulting in the general treaty of 1701. Among the illustrations are a prospect of Quebec and three folding engraved maps of Hudson’s Bay, Montreal and La Nouvelle France. Howes B-23; Lande 21; European Americana 722/10; Sabin 2692.
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