The Copie of a Petition presented to the King of Spaine, by Capitaine Peter Ferdinand de Quir… [extract from] Purchas his Pilgrimes…. Pedro Fernández de QUIROS.

The Copie of a Petition presented to the King of Spaine…
The Copie of a Petition presented to the King of Spaine, by Capitaine Peter Ferdinand de Quir… [extract from] Purchas his Pilgrimes…

London: 1625.

Folio, 12 pp. extract from Purchas, printing the Quiros letter (pp. 1422-1432); very good, in appealing modern half calf, marbled boards.

Quiros in English, taken from Purchas

An ideal "introductory" copy of Quiros: this extract from the magisterial voyage anthology of Purchas (Purchas His Pilgrimes, London, 1625) is only the second printing in English of Quiros's celebrated Eighth Memorial to the King of Spain describing the wonders of Terra Australis. In English it is predated only by the 1617 London publication Terra Australis incognita, rightly considered one of the highlights of early Australian books.

An ideal "introductory" copy of Quiros: this extract from the magisterial voyage anthology of Purchas (Purchas His Pilgrimes, London, 1625) is only the second printing in English of Quiros's celebrated Eighth Memorial to the King of Spain describing the wonders of Terra Australis. In English it is predated only by the 1617 London publication Terra Australis incognita, rightly considered one of the highlights of early Australian books.

The Eighth Memorial of Quiros is one of the most famous of all voyage texts, and more than any other single cause was responsible for the search for a Southern Continent that only ultimately ceased with Cook's discoveries. Between 1607 and 1614 Quiros submitted about 65 memorials to Philip III and members of his councils seeking support for the further exploration and settlement of the Southern Continent. Circulation of the Spanish memorials was highly restricted and all but a few remained in manuscript. Only one - the Eighth, which appeared originally in December 1608 or January 1609 - was translated (into Dutch, English, French, German and Italian) and published separately outside Spain, becoming as a result the best known and the most influential.

Quiros's conviction that the Southland was a reality was formed when he accompanied Mendaña's disastrous attempt in 1595 to revisit and colonise the Solomons. 'Mendaña himself died; a starving remnant was brought over unknown seas to Manila only through the superb navigation of the chief pilot, the Portuguese seaman Quiros. It was Quiros who, undeterred, took up the mission, a mission to him evangelical as well as geographical. A man of extraordinary qualities, with something Franciscan in his spirit, he combined professional skill with a continental faith that swept him far beyond the touch of reality, that made his path both a triumphant and a dolorous one; so that in the end, foredoomed to failure as he was from the nature of things, it perhaps mattered little that he was a poor leader of men. After much travail, he sailed from Callao in December 1605… [and] fetched up at something quite different… the land he called Austrialia del Espiritu Santo, the northernmost large island of the New Hebrides group; and here, he was sure, where he proclaimed the city of New Jerusalem, was the much-desired continent… Quiros returned to Spain, ceaselessly and fruitlessly to importune crown and councils, with memorials and charts, for still another expedition. The Spanish effort was over. His memorials, glowing with their confident transmutation of hopes into matter of fact, spread through Europe. Quiros, who had discovered a dozen islands, became the publicist of the continent. Had he failed in his great purpose? He could hold up a light to the future' (Beaglehole IV, pp. 111-2).

Price (AUD): $2,650.00

US$1,871.62   Other currencies

Ref: #4106316