HAKLUYT, Richard (ca 1552-1616). The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, made by Sea or over-land, to the remote and farthest distant quarters of the Earth, at any time within the compasse of these 1500 yeeres. London: George Bishop, Ralph Newberie and Robert Barker, 1598-1599-1600.
3 volumes in 2, 4o (281 x 187 mm). Added fragment of a map of the Arctic regions pasted to lower blank margin of 2U5v. Ornamental woodcut capitals, head- and tail-pieces. (Without the map as often, small paper flaws on L3and 3G1 vol. II with loss of a few letters, some browning and spotting.) Late 18th-/early 19th-century diced russia, spines gilt (some rubbing, joints a bit weak). Provenance: Anthony Rudd (contemporary ownership signature on title); Robert Henry Lee Warner (bookplate).
Second edition of "THE MOST COMPLETE COLLECTION OF VOYAGES AND DISCOVERIES, BY LAND AS WELL AS BY SEA, AND OF THE NAUTICAL ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE ELIZABETHANS" (PMM). Title-page in volume one in the first state, dated 1598 and including the reference to "the famous victorie atchieved at the citie of Cadiz, 1596" and with the "Voyage to Cadiz" section at 3E4-3F4 (pp.607-617), 53 lines in eight paragraphs (Church first state) on paper with chainlines 20-25 mm apart. The section was suppressed by Elizabeth I after the disgrace of the Earl of Essex in 1599, but the sheets were not destroyed. In some copies sold after Elizabeth's death, these sheets were reinserted. As for the presence of the map, Pforzheimer notes: "It is generally allowed that the map which belongs in that third volume, though only occasionally found, was not issued with all copies." Church was able to locate thirteen copies of the map. There appear to be two variants of the printer's ornaments on the title-page in volume one. This copy has a border of fruit and flowers surrounding the opening word "The" and the ornamental device above the imprint is composed of a center medallion flanked by cupids. No priority has been established between this state and the variant with a typographical border around "The" and a device using three birds above the imprint.
The present edition greatly enlarges the first edition of 1589, with the entire third volume devoted to America. "Hakluyt's Principall Navigations was the fruit of a life devoted to promoting the cause of English colonization and commerce by disseminating knowledge about, and stimulating interest in, all the less known or recently discovered parts of the world. This great repository of explorations, travels, and adventures 'within the compasse of these 1500 years' was aptly styled by Mr. Froude 'the prose epic of the modern English nation'" (Church). The work is said to contain one million seven hundred thousand words. The Supplement "contains fourteen rare works not easily accessible in any other form, and is quite as important as either of the volumes published in [Hakluyt's] time" (Sabin 29600).
"In a word, many of such useful tracts of sea adventures, which before were scattered as several ships, Mr. Hakluyt hath embodied into a fleet, divided into three squadrons so many several volumes; a work of great honour to England" (Thomas Fuller, The History of the Worthies of England). Further distinguishing this copy is its fine English provenance, the earlier work descending from the 2nd Earl of Essex in the present creation, Algernon Capell, after which it entered the Ashburnham collection and thereafter the library of Queen Victoria. Alden and Landis 598/42; Borba de Moraes, p.328; Church 322 (second issue); Grolier English 14; Hill pp. 131-132 (second issue of the title); Palau 112038, 112039; Pforzheimer 443 (1st and 2nd volumes); PMM 105; Sabin 29595; STC 12626. (2)