RALEIGH’S SEARCH FOR “THE FABLED RICHES OF ELDORADO”
RALEIGH, Walter. Discoverie of the Large, Rich and Bevvtifvl Empire of Gviana, With a relation of the Great and Golden Citie of Manoa (which the Spaniards call Ed Dorado)… BOUND WITH: GALVANO, Antonio. The Discoveries of the World from their first originall vnto the yeere of our Lord 1555. (Cleveland: World Publishing, 1966). Small quarto, original full vellum with yapp edges and cloth ties, gilt-stamped arms of Elizabeth I on front cover. Housed in original cloth clamshell box with printed paper labels. $300.
Fine facsimile edition of Raleigh’s important 1596 account of his voyage to Guiana, alongside Portuguese explorer Antonio Galvano’s account of voyages to the New World, as translated by Richard Hakluyt in 1601.
“A primary motive of Raleigh’s expedition to the Orinoco River in 1595 was not only to discover the fabled riches of El Dorado but to recover the favor of the queen [Elizabeth I, who had sent him to the Tower when she learned of his secret marriage to one of her maids of honor]. At the mouth of the Orinoco, Raleigh was forced back by heavy floods on the very threshold of what he believed to be the mythical El Dorado. He returned to England with some gold, only to discover widespread rumors to the effect that he had never been to Guiana at all but had remained in Cornwall and sent ships to Barbary to purchase gold. Partly to squash such absurd slander, Raleigh wrote [this] vivid description of the voyage” (Ruoff, 351). See Sabin 67553.