Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries

Richard HAKLUYT

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“IT IS DIFFICULT TO OVERRATE THE IMPORTANCE AND VALUE OF THIS EXTRAORDINARY COLLECTION OF VOYAGES”: FIRST EXPANDED EDITION OF HAKLUYT’S MONUMENTAL PRINCIPAL NAVIGATIONS, 1599-1600, THE FIRST ENGLISH COLLECTION OF VOYAGES AND AN ESSENTIAL CATALYST IN THE COLONIZATION OF AMERICA

HAKLUYT, Richard. The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, made by Sea or overland, to the remote and farthest distant quarters of the Earth, at any time within the compasse of these 1500 years: Divided into three severall Volumes, according to the positions of the Regions, whereunto they were directed. London: George Bishop, Ralph Newberie, and Robert Barker, 1599-1600. Three volumes bound in two. Quarto, early 20th-century full levant olive morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Each volume housed in full morocco pull-off box.

Greatly expanded second edition of Hakluyt’s expanded collection of voyages, the first and greatest of its kind. The esteemed Hersholt-Greenhill-Borowitz copy, beautifully bound in full morocco by Pratt.

Voyages and accounts are arranged by both chronology and region, and contain personal reports by explorers, merchants and diplomats. Volume I covers the voyages to North and North-east, Volume II South and South-east, and Volume III, America. Specific accounts include “the memorable defeat of the Spanish huge Armada, Anno 1588,” “the two renowned, and prosperous voyages of Sir Francis Drake and M. Thomas Candish round about the circumference of the whole earth,” “the offer of the discovery of the West Indies by Christopher Columbus to King Henry VII,” Walter Raleigh’s various expeditions to Virginia, and several accounts of voyages in search of North-West passage by Martin Frobisher, John Cabot, and John Davys.

At the time of publication, the Earl of Essex had been disgraced by Queen Elizabeth, and at her command the first issue of the first volume was suppressed for its inclusion of Essex’s expedition to Cadiz. The first-issue title page (which mentioned “the famous victorie atchieved at the citie of Cadiz” and dated 1598) was altered accordingly and the appropriate pages were excised. (Hakluyt reprinted a number of copies a short time later for those of his friends who wished to include it.) As usual, this copy is the second issue of Volume I, with the cancel title page dated 1599. The account of Essex’s expedition to Cadiz (often absent) is supplied in fine printed facsimile, bound in at the rear of Volume I, pages 607-620. As usual, this set does not contain the Mercator projection world map by Edward Wright, which is almost always absent and was only issued with a handful of copies. This copy does, however, contain a fine facsimile of this large folding map, bound in at the front of Volume I. Text embellished with numerous woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces. Church 322. Hill 743. Cox I, 4. Sabin 29596, 29597, 29598. See PMM 105. The copy of esteemed collectors Jean Hersholt and Harold Greenhill, with their bookplates; this copy was also in the collection of David and Lulu Borowitz.

A fine copy, very handsomely bound, with distinguished provenance.

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