9 June 2004
SARMIENTO DE GAMBOA, Pedro (ca 1532-1608). Viage al Estrecho de Magallanes... en los anos 1579 y 1580. Madrid: Imprenta Real de la Gazeta, 1768.
4o (235 x 170 mm). 3 engraved folding plates. Contemporary marbled sheep, spine gilt, with red morocco lettering piece (light rubbing and minor worming to lower cover).
FIRST EDITION of a "Bello e interesante libro" (Palau) based on the manuscript now in the Royal Library in Madrid. Sarmiento, with the "Nuestra Senora de Guia" and the "Almiranta" under his command, had originally set out with instructions to capture Francis Drake. On reaching the straits of Magellan this mission was subverted into an opportunity to make charts and observations of the straits and to develop a plan to prevent any further incursions into the Pacific by colonising and fortifying the region. The King of Spain later adopted his plan, and appointed him the governor of the future colony. Unfortunately, through no fault of Sarmiento's, the attempt at colonisation ended in disaster. Borba de Moraes II:777; Palau 302364; Sabin 77094.
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