LESCARBOT, Marc (1570-1642). Histoire de la Nouvelle France : contenant les navigations, découvertes, & habitations faites pare les François és Indes Occidentales & Nouvelle-France ... Paris: Jean Millot, 1609.
Two parts in one volume, 8° (164 x 96 mm). Three engraved folding maps by Jan Swelinck after Lescarbot. Pages 7-10 cancelled, replaced with pp. 7-8, ff. 9, 10, 10ii; cancel leaf 2E1 retained (text cut through and with lower margin repaired); leaves 2G4 and 2L8 cancelled. (Gg5 with upper corner torn away costing a few letters of shoulder note, Zz8 and Ccc1 with light soiling.) 17th-century French speckled calf, spine richly gilt; brown quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: Franciscan/Minorite library in Chateau-Thierry (inscription on title).
FIRST EDITION of this cornerstone work on the French settlements in Canada. It is divided into three books: the first gives an account of the voyages of Verrazano, Laudonnière, Gourgues, and Villegagnon; the second contains the voyages of Cartier, Roberval, De Monts, Poutrincourt, and the first voyages of Champlain; and the third contains an interesting description of the manners and customs of the native tribes. The second work in this volume, also by Lescarbot, almost invariably accompanies the first, and can be surmised to have been issued with it. This collection of several poems and a masque all celebrate events in New France. The masque, "Le Theatre de Neptune en la Nouvelle France", originally performed at Port Royal on 14 November 1606, was THE FIRST SECULAR DRAMATIC PERFORMANCE IN NORTH AMERICA.
The map, which was also issued with the English-language edition of the same year, predates Champlain's by three years and accompanies the first published history of the French settlements in America. Lescarbot was a Protestant lawyer who spent more than a year in America as part of the expedition that founded Port Royal in Nova Scotia, arriving in 1606. The book was published to encourage settlement in the New World. "The map extends up the St. Lawrence River as far as the Indian village Hochelaga, or Montreal as we now know it. The first trading post in Canada, founded in 1600 at Tadousac, is shown at the mouth of the R. de Saguenay and just next to that is the River Lesquemin mistakenly named in reverse. Kebec is shown here for the first time on a printed map in its Micmac form, meaning the narrows of the river... During the second New England voyage Marc Lescarbot was left in charge of the Port Royal colony. The New England coastline on this map closely follows Champlain's manuscript of the area which is dated 1607, and now resides at the Library of Congress" (Burden).
VERY RARE: only two other copies of this have appeared at auction in the last fifty years according to online databases. Alden & Landis 609/66-67; Bell, p. 228; Borba de Moraes I:406-7; Church 339-340; Cioranescu XVII, 43004-43005; Cox II, p. 44; Harrisse Notes, 16-17; JCB (1919) II, p. 62; McCorkle 609.1; Sabin 40169, 40174; The World Encompassed 210.