Cosmography in four books. Containing the Chorography and History of the whole World: and all the Principal Kingdoms, Provinces, Seas, and Isles thereof… [engraved title:] The 5th Edition, Corrected & Inlarged by the Author. Peter HEYLYN.
Cosmography in four books. Containing the Chorography and History of the whole World: and all the Principal Kingdoms, Provinces, Seas, and Isles thereof… [engraved title:] The 5th Edition, Corrected & Inlarged by the Author.

Cosmography in four books…
Cosmography in four books. Containing the Chorography and History of the whole World: and all the Principal Kingdoms, Provinces, Seas, and Isles thereof… [engraved title:] The 5th Edition, Corrected & Inlarged by the Author.

London: Printed by A.C. for P. Chetwind, and A. Seile…, 1677.

Folio, printed title in red and black, with an additional engraved title and four folding maps; contemporary dark sprinkled calf.

"Terra Australis Incognita, or the Southern Continent"

A famous geographical work by the seventeenth-century theologian and historian, here in one of the few editions that includes Heylyn's remarkable study of notions of the southern continent. His interesting, rare, and early discussion of the subject draws on the reasonable as well as the wildly imaginary in bringing together actual discoveries and utopian fiction: as far as the reasonable part goes, this ranks as one of the earlier descriptions of an Australian geographical identity though it quickly segues into fantasy. aptly demonstrating an easy confusion between the two that characterised popular ideas of exotic geography during the period.

A famous geographical work by the seventeenth-century theologian and historian, here in one of the few editions that includes Heylyn's remarkable study of notions of the southern continent. His interesting, rare, and early discussion of the subject draws on the reasonable as well as the wildly imaginary in bringing together actual discoveries and utopian fiction: as far as the reasonable part goes, this ranks as one of the earlier descriptions of an Australian geographical identity though it quickly segues into fantasy. aptly demonstrating an easy confusion between the two that characterised popular ideas of exotic geography during the period.

This important section was not present in the earliest editions of this book, nor in all later versions, but is found here in this fifth edition of the work, with a separate title-page ("An Appendix to the Former Work, Endeavouring a Discovery of the unknown Parts of the World: especially of Terra Australis Incognita, or the Southern Continent"). This bizarre and surprisingly unnoticed text on the southern continent begins: 'And here we are upon a new and strange Adventure, which no Knight Errant ever undertook before…'. Heylyn continues by discussing "Terra Australis Incognita", which he deduces (on the counterpoise theory) to be as large as Europe, Asia, and Africa, and its potential: 'The country being so large, so free from the Incumbrances of Frost and Ice, and endless Winters; I have oft marvelled with my self that no further hath been made in Discovery of it…'.

He then discusses the voyages of Magellan, Le Maire, Hawkins, and Quiros, among others, with special sections devoted to Tierra del Fuego, the Solomon Islands and New Guinea. In a final, tongue-in-cheek section he concludes that all that is needed by the student of the southern continent is more information; so, rather than 'troubling the Vice-Royes of Peru, and Mexico, or taking out a Commission for a new Discovery' he examines instead the various utopias that have been written with the southern continent as a setting. He starts with Hall's Mundus Alter and deals with More, Bacon, and others.

Heylyn is said to have written his Cosmography after a stranger had advised him that 'Geography is better than divinity'. First published in 1652 under this title, it is a huge, wide-ranging description of the known world illustrated with four good engraved maps (Europe, Africa, Asia and North America, the last showing California as an island).

European-Americana IV, p.28; Lieghley, California as an Island, 24; Mendelssohn, 1957, I, p. 710 (but without the southern continent section); Sabin, 31655; Wing, H1695.

Price (AUD): $5,500.00  other currencies Ref: #4505180

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