9 December 2009
PAGAN, Blaise François, Comte De Merveilles (1604-1665). An Historical & Geographical Description of the Great Country & River of the Amazones in America. Translated from French into English by William Hamilton. London: for John Starkey, 1661.
8o (162 x 10 3mm). Folding engraved map. (Without ?blank a8.) Modern half morocco, top edge gilt. Provenance: Patrick Hume (1641-1724), Earl of Marchmont, Lord High Chancellor of Scotland (engraved armorial bookplates dated 1702); Joseph M. Roebling (his sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, 28 April 1981, lot 124).
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. According to Sabin the work includes "Several chapters... devoted to descriptions of the aborigines of the valley of the Amazon," in addition there are topographical descriptions of the various regions, mentioning potential products suitable for commerce. Pagan advocated the conquest of the Amazon by France, and in the dedicatory epistle of the present edition the translator suggests that England should attempt the same. The French original was published in Paris in 1656, but was itself based largely upon the work of Acuna. See Brunet IV:309; Sabin 58142 ("The map is usually missing"); Wing P-162.
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