FIRST EDITION OF PRESCOTT'S HISTORY OF THE CONQUEST OF PERU
PRESCOTT, William. History of the Conquest of Peru, with a Preliminary View of the Civilization of the Incas. New York: Harper & Brothers, (1847). Two volumes. Octavo, contemporary dark brown polished calf with brown and black morocco labels, cloth boards, marbled endpapers and edges. $600.
First American edition, preferred to the London edition published one month prior, with two engraved frontispiece portraits, an engraved map of Peru and plate of facsimile signatures of Pizarro, in original cloth.
"History for Prescott was primarily a form of polite literature, written quite as much for the entertainment as for the instruction of his readers; it was, therefore, in the recounting of stirring events and thrilling scenes that he took pleasure and excelled." His works today remain standard authorities and reflect "the scrupulous care and integrity with which he used his materials, and the pains he took to find the exact truth" (DAB). "His fidelity and industry—qualities which form the foundation of historical merit—are universally acknowledged" (Allibone, 1674). Preceded by the London edition which appeared in May, 1847; this preferred American edition appeared in June, 1847. BAL 16346. Sabin 65272.
Some foxing to endpapers and flyleaves; text generally clean. A few minor rubs to clean cloth. A near-fine copy.