EXQUEMELIN, ALEXANDRE OLIVIER. Bucaniers of America: Or, a true Account of the Most remarkable Assaults Committed of late years upon the Coasts of the West Indies, By the Bucaniers of Jamaica and Tortuga, both English and French. London: for William Crooke, 1684. 4to, 227 x 161 mm. (8 15/16 x 6½ in.), crushed light brown morocco, covers with roll-tooled border of stylized fleurs-de-lys framed by triple gilt rule and outer leafy border, spine gilt tooled and lettered in six compartments, board edges ruled in gilt, turn-ins gilt, g.e., by Roger de Coverly, with his gilt stamp on upper turn-in, very slight scuffing to lower joint and corners, a few small scratches to lower cover, small marginal repair to frontispiece, tiny marginal hole to F1, one or two trifling small stains, slight offset onto E1 from engraving on facing page, minor marginal worming in Part 3. FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, 3 parts in one, title within double rule border, 8 engraved plates (2 folding), of which 4 portraits (including frontispiece), folding engraved map of Panama, allegorical half-page text engraving (part 1, p. 24), 2 small text woodcuts in Part 3. Church 689; Hill, pp. 99-100; JCB 1675-1700, pp. 131-2; Sabin 23479; Wing E-3894.
A very good copy of the first English edition of Exquemelin's narrative, "the classic of buccaneering books" (Hill), first published in Dutch in 1678. This anonymous translation was taken from the Spanish edition of 1681. In the same year a second English edition was published by Crooke: both editions are often accompanied by Basil Ringrose's original account of the Pacific voyage of Bartholomew Sharpe, published in 1685 under the title "Bucaniers of America: The Second Volume." Sir Henry Morgan, one of the book's principal subjects, honored with a portrait and a plate depicting his destruction of the Spanish fleet, "sued the publisher, William Crook, for libel... and he was awarded 200 damages" (Borba de Moraes, p. 300).
Provenance: Samuel Ashton Thompson Yates -- Cecil Thompson, bookplates.