“A VALUABLE AND MUCH ESTEEMED WORK”: MORYSON’S ITINERARY, 1617 FIRST EDITION, WITH EARLY 17TH-CENTURY PLANS INCLUDING VENICE, CONSTANTINOPLE, AND JERUSALEM
MORYSON, Fynes. An Itinerary… Containing his ten yeeres travell through the twelve dominions of Germany, Bohmerland, Sweitzerland, Netherland, Denmarke, Poland, Italy, Turky, France, England, Scotland, and Ireland. London: Printed by John Beale, 1617. Folio (8-1/2 by 13 inches), 18th-century full polished calf rebacked with original elaborately gilt-decorated spine neatly laid down, marbled endpapers and edges. $7500.
First edition of Moryson’s fascinating account of travel through late 16th-century Europe, including Germany, Holland, Italy, Turkey, France, and the British Isles, with eight half-page woodcut plans of Venice, Naples, Rome, Genoa, Paris, Constantinople, Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
"One of the most important of the Elizabethan travelers" (Atabey), Moryson made two journeys to Europe and the Levant between 1591 to 1597, visiting the Low Countries, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, the Eastern Mediterranean, Jerusalem, Tripoli, Antioch and Constantinople. In 1598 he made a tour of Scotland; in 1600 he moved to Ireland at the recommendation of his brother, where he became chief secretary to the Lord Deputy Charles Blount and assisted in suppressing Tyrone's rebellion. The first part of his tripartite Itinerary consists of a journal of his travels, with half-page woodcut plans of the chief cities, the rates of hiring coaches and horses, expenses, and similar observations. "The second part is a valuable history of Tyrone's rebellion, with documents of state" (DNB). The third part comprises essays on the advantages of travel and all necessary preparations for a successful trip, as well as discourses on each nation's costume, custom, character, coin, traffic, agriculture, language, religion, women, and legal practice, with a special emphasis on regional diets and drinks. "A valuable and much esteemed work" (Lowndes). "Moryson is a sober and truthful writer… He delights in statistics respecting the mileage of his daily journeys and the varieties in the values of the coins he encountered. His descriptions of the inns in which he lodged, of the costume and the food of the countries visited, render his work invaluable to the social historian" (DNB). The Latin version of his Itinerary, which he wrote first and which is mentioned on the title page, was never published. Complete with two-page title, the first leaf of which is "occasionally wanting" (Lowndes). STC 18205. Blackmer 1159. Cox I:87. Atabey 841. Lowndes, 1621. Brunet III:1919. Penciled annotations on front free endpaper verso.
Title page skillfully remargined along outer and lower edges. A bit of minor marginal dampstaining to first few dozen leaves, binding nicely restored. An excellent copy of this scarce work.