"VERACITY AND EXACTNESS… CHARACTERIZE THESE TRAVELS": LA MOTTRAYE'S TRAVELS IN EUROPE, 1732, WITH TEN ENGRAVED PLATES AND MAPS
(RUSSIA) (POLAND) LA MOTTRAYE, Aubrey de. Voyages en Anglois et en Francois. The Hague: Adrien Moetjens, 1732. Folio (8-1/2 by 12 inches), contemporary full dark brown calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, tan morocco spine label, original owner's gilt armorial cipher on covers. $2200.
First edition of this lively narrative of La Mottraye's travels through eastern Europe, including Russia, Poland, Prussia, and Estonia—with text in English and French—illustrated with engraved frontispiece and nine engraved views, maps, and costume plates (one folding). Handsome in contemporary full calf-gilt.
La Mottraye (1674-1743), a Huguenot, traveled extensively from 1696-1729. His detailed accounts of his adventures and observations are esteemed for their vivacity, lack of prejudice, and genuine interest in the customs and religious practices of the people in the lands he visited. "Veracity and exactness… characterize these travels" (Lowndes, 1623). This is the third volume of Mottraye's travels, the first two being published separately in London in 1723, detailing his travels in Italy, Turkey, Greece, Tartary, Sweden and Lapland. "Vols. I and II were printed and published at London [in 1723], and Vol. III printed for the author at The Hague. The text is in English and French in parallel columns" (Cox). Cox I, 77-78. Old shelf label and ink library stamps, including two to lower margin of title page.
Text and engravings clean and fine. Joints and spine ends expertly restored, armorial cipher somewhat dulled, spine gilt bright. A handsome copy of this fascinating work.