“A CLASSIC WORK ABOUT PARAGUAY”: FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF CHARLEVOIX’S THE HISTORY OF PARAGUAY, 1769
CHARLEVOIX, Pierre Francis-Xavier de. The History of Paraguay. Containing Amongst Many other New, Curious, and Interesting Particulars of that Country, a Full and Authentic Account of the Establishments Formed There by the Jesuits, from Among the Savage Natives, in the Very Centre of Barbarism: Establishments Allowed to Have Realized the Sublime Ideas of Fenelon, Sir Thomas More, and Plato. London: Lockyer Davis, 1769. Two volumes in one. Octavo, later full tan calf, raised bands, red morocco spine label. $1200.
First edition in English of this fascinating history of Paraguay and its colonization by the Jesuit missionaries, handsomely bound.
“The most complete and satisfactory work on Paraguay, and the only one in which the vast system of the Jesuits is fully developed, the position of the author affording him peculiar opportunities for examination (Cox II:282). “Charlevoix’s book was, and still is, a classic work about Paraguay” (Moraes I:156). “It is doing no more than justice to the merit of Charlevoix to say that in all the high qualities requisite for a great historian he had no superior. His learning, his research, and his opportunities, were only equaled by his zeal, his intelligence, and we had nearly said his impartiality… He was himself a missionary… conversant with other learned priests who had spent their lives among the natives, and he had access to a great mass of documents of most unsuspected veracity” (Field 282, 283). This work is “an abridgement” of the French first edition of 1757 (Sabin 12133), though it is itself substantial at nearly 1000 pages. Field 284. Palau 67171.
A beautiful copy in about-fine condition.