ONE OF ONLY 75 LARGE-PAPER COPIES, THE 1809 BEST EDITION OF HAKLUYT’S MONUMENTAL FIVE-VOLUME FOLIO COLLECTION OF THE EARLY VOYAGES— A SPLENDID SET
HAKLUYT, Richard. Hakluyt's Collection of the Early Voyages, Travels, and Discoveries of the English Nation. London: R.H. Evans, et al., 1809-12. Five volumes. Thick folio (10-1/2 by 15 inches), contemporary three-quarter brown morocco rebacked, raised bands, marbled endpapers and edges. $15,000.
One of only 75 large-paper copies on Imperial paper(out of a total edition of only 325) of “this enormous work—the most complete collection of voyages and discoveries, by land as well as by sea, and of the nautical achievements of the Elizabethans” (PMM). “The best and most complete edition… very scarce” (Hill).
Building on a life-long interest, beginning with his Divers Voyages Touching the Discovery of America (1582), Richard Hakluyt was "incited" into documenting the accomplishments of English explorers "by hearing and reading 'other nations miraculously extolled for their discoveries and notable enterprises by sea, but the English of all others for their sluggish security and continual neglect of the like attempts, either ignominiously reported or exceedingly condemned,… and not seeing any man to have care to recommend to the world the industrious labors and painful travels of our countrymen" (DNB). This superb edition of Early Voyages, Travels, and Discoveries of the English Nation is an accurate republication of the first 1598 folio edition, with the addition of some voyages that were published in the first edition but omitted in the second (see Lowndes). The fourth and fifth volumes contain supplementary voyages and travels which were originally printed and sold separately to complete the earlier editions. "Although Hakluyt himself never traveled farther than France, he inspired some of the great overseas explorations of his time and was one of the leading spirits in the Elizabethan maritime expansion. He met many of the great navigators: Drake, Raleigh, Gilbert, Frobisher, and others, corresponded with Ortelius and Mercator, and collected all the material on voyages he could find… By 1600 he was able to fill three folio volumes of the definitive edition of the Principal Navigations, called by Froude 'the prose epic of the modern English nation" (PMM). Includes sections on Northern and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, India, Africa, Japan and China, the Pacific Isles, Russia, Newfoundland, Virginia, Florida, California and South America. Four-page dealer catalogue misbound in Volume IV before last leaf of text; book complete. PMM 105. Hill 744. Howes H26. Sabin 29599. Lowndes, 972.