9 December 2009
JOSSELYN, John (1638-1675). An Account of Two Voyages to New-England. -Chronological Observations of America, from the year of the World to the year of Christ, 1673. London: Giles Widdows, 1674.
2 parts in one, 8o (143 x 90 mm). Publisher's woodcut device on A1r. (Small rust hole on M2 affecting a few letters, some light soiling, a few small stains.) Contemporary English sheep (some light wear at extremities); cloth folding case. Provenance: Cashel Library (inscription on inner front board, shelf numbers above woodcut device).
FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE EARLIEST WORKS ON THE FLORA AND FAUNA OF NEW ENGLAND AND THE MIDDLE ATLANTIC STATES, called the "earliest work on the Natural History of New England" (Rich). Josselyn, a gentleman traveler trained as a physician and surgeon, first visited New England in 1638-1639, and returned again for a longer stay from 1663 to 1671; he published only two volumes. An Account of Two Voyages "is the more ambitious work: it is a rather strange compound of scientific lore, suggestions for settlers, bits of local history, and much general observation" (DAB). The work comments on the medical uses and abuses of various flora and fauna, including tobacco. "Josselyn included many medical and surgical observations with his American botanical descriptions, and also provided one of the best contemporary English accounts of New Netherland" (Streeter sale II:635). Alden & Landis 674/105; Arents Tobacco II:323; Church 627; Cox Travel II:71; Field 780; Howes J-254 ("c"); Sabin 36672; Stevens Nuggets 1567; Vail Frontier 162; Wing J-1091. A FINE, UNSOPHISTICATED COPY.
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