Purchas his Pilgrimes In five bookes [and] Purchas his Pilgrimage. Samuel PURCHAS.
Purchas his Pilgrimes In five bookes [and] Purchas his Pilgrimage.
Purchas his Pilgrimes In five bookes [and] Purchas his Pilgrimage.
Purchas his Pilgrimes In five bookes [and] Purchas his Pilgrimage.
Purchas his Pilgrimes In five bookes [and] Purchas his Pilgrimage.

Purchas his Pilgrimes…
Purchas his Pilgrimes In five bookes [and] Purchas his Pilgrimage.

London: W. Stansby for H. Fetherstone, 1625-1626.

Five volumes, folio (in sixes), with seven double-page engraved maps, and 88 smaller maps or illustrations in the text; additional ornamental title page to the first volume; a few marginal repairs, some of the in-text maps just trimmed by binder at margins, the Virginia and New England maps in in the fourth volume expertly backed on linen; generally in fine condition; in a handsome early 20th-century binding of dark brown crushed morocco, central gilt arabesque on covers, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers with inner gilt dentelle borders, by Pratt with his stamp in each volume.

The extraordinary collection of voyage narratives in English

The classic anthology of exploration: 'This is one of the fullest and most important collections of voyages and travels in the English language' (Church). This is a splendid set (in a handsome binding by the 19th-century London binder Pratt) of the monumental sequel to Hakluyt's collection of voyages. The five mighty volumes, encompassing some twelve hundred separate narratives, 'hold many a stirring tale of bravery at sea, ice under a midnight sun in Arctic seas or, far away south, under a tropic moon or brazen noontide sun. They tell of parching thirst, and freezing cold, of chill winds that searched men to the bone, and of the hot breath of desert sands that scorched their flesh and drove them crazed to death…' (Waters, p. 260).

The classic anthology of exploration: 'This is one of the fullest and most important collections of voyages and travels in the English language' (Church). This is a splendid set (in a handsome binding by the 19th-century London binder Pratt) of the monumental sequel to Hakluyt's collection of voyages. The five mighty volumes, encompassing some twelve hundred separate narratives, 'hold many a stirring tale of bravery at sea, ice under a midnight sun in Arctic seas or, far away south, under a tropic moon or brazen noontide sun. They tell of parching thirst, and freezing cold, of chill winds that searched men to the bone, and of the hot breath of desert sands that scorched their flesh and drove them crazed to death…' (Waters, p. 260).

As the Hill catalogue notes, 'At the death of Hakluyt there was left a large collection of voyages in manuscript which came into the hands of Purchas, who added to them many more voyages and travels, of Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese explorers as well as of English travellers. Purchas followed the general plan of Hakluyt, but he frequently put the accounts into his own words… The main divisions of the work fall into two parts: the first covering the world known to Ptolemy, the second coming down to Purchas' own day. This fine collection includes the accounts of Cortes and Pizarro, Drake, Cavendish, John and Richard Hawkins, Quiros, Magellan, van Noort, Spilbergen, and Barents as well as the categories of Portuguese voyages to the East Indies, Jesuit voyages to China and Japan, East India Company voyages, and the expeditions of the Muscovy Company…'.

Most of the maps in the book are after the great Dutch mapmaker Hondius. The seven large double-page maps include two of China (vols. 3 and 5), one of India and one of Greenland, along with three particularly important maps of North America: the Henry Briggs map (Burden 214, Goss 24) which was responsible for the problematic tradition of showing California as an island; the map of Canada/New Scotland (Burden 208, second state; "This map is of great importance"); and John Smith's map of Virginia (Burden 164, state 9; "one of the most important printed maps of America ever produced and certainly one of the greatest influence").

As always, there are several issue-points to be detailed: in volume 1 the engraved title is in the usual second state (dated 1625); p. 65 (bk. 1) is in the uncorrected state (with "Hondius His Map of the Christian World"); signature Tt is paginated like the Astor copy and on p. 217 the side-note is corrected but the signature mark is present; pp. 703-6 are the first issue (with the headline "Hollanders lying devices, to disgrace the English" and other hostile references to the Dutch); the blank R4 is present. The map of Virginia in volume 4 is in Verner's ninth state. The last volume is the fourth and best edition of 'Purchas his Pilgrimage', first published separately in 1613, enlarged and republished in 1626 specifically to accompany the four volumes of the 'Pilgrimes'; the present copy is the second issue with the title beginning "Purchas" (rather than "Purchase") and with the added dedication to King Charles.

A detailed list of the contents can be supplied on request.

Kublai Khan:

In one of the most celebrated episodes of English literature, Coleridge was reading his copy of Purchas when the gentleman from Porlock famously interrupted his opium-assisted reverie. As Coleridge described it himself, 'In consequence of a slight indisposition, an anodyne had been prescribed [two grains of opium, self-prescribed], from the effects of which he fell asleep in his chair at the moment that he was reading the following sentence, or words of the same substance, in Purchas' Pilgrimage: 'Here the Khan Kubla commanded a palace to be built, and a stately garden thereunto. And thus ten miles of fertile ground were inclosed with a wall.' The author continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external sense, during which time he has the most vivid confidence that he could not have composed less than from two to three hundred lines; if that indeed can be called composition in which all the images rose up before him as things, with a parallel production of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation or consciousness of effort. On awakening he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone had been cast, but, alas! without the after restoration of the latter…'.

The start of Coleridge's poem more closely echoed in fact the passage in Purchas, based on Marco Polo: 'In Xandu did Cublai Can build a stately Pallace, encompassing sixteen miles of plaine ground with a wall, wherein are fertile Meddowes, pleasant Springs, delightfull streames, and all sorts of beasts of chase and game, and in the middest thereof a sumptuous house of pleasure, which may be moved from place to place'.

The first printed notice of Australia?

The first adequately documented European visit to Australia is that of Willem Janszoon and Jan Lodewyckszoon van Roossengin on the Dutch pinnace Duyfken in 1605. They were sent out from Bantam to "discover" New Guinea and other islands south of the Bandas, and they raised the west coast of Cape York Peninsula near Pennefather River. They sailed south along the coast for a while, then doubled back, sailing along the same coast further to the north. They landed at Batavia River in Albatross Bay where they were attacked by Aborigines who killed several of the Dutch crewmen. Janszoon and Lodewyckszoon called the coast New Guinea. Although they sailed past it, they did not recognise the Torres Strait as a passage south of New Guinea. Their discoveries soon appeared on charts as a southern extension of the New Guinea coast, but no published account of their voyage appeared during the seventeenth century. The English factor John Saris, however, reported from Bantam both the departure of the Duyfken and its return to Banda in 1606. When published by Purchas in 1625 (Vol I, p.385) it was probably Europe's first printed notice of Australia:

The eighteenth of November 1605 here departed a small Pinnasse of the Flemmings, for the discovery of the Island caled Nova Guinea, which, as it is said, affordeth great store of Gold.

The fifteenth of June 1606, here arrived Nockhoda Tingall a Cling-man [Kling, Malay for Indian] from Bandas, in Java Juncke… he told me that the Flemmings Pinasse which went upon discovery for Nova Ginny, was returned to Banda, having found the Island: but in sending their men on shore to intreate of trade, there were nine of them killed by the Heathens, which are man-eaters; so they were constrained to return, finding no good to be done there…'.

Alden, 'European Americana', 625/173, 626/101; Arents, 158; Borba de Moraes, II, p.692-3; Church, 401A; Cordier, Bibliotheca Sinica, 1940f; Hill, 1403; Sabin, 6682-86; STC, 20509/20508.5; Streit, 'Bibliotheca Missionum', I, 423.

Condition Report: With a few marginal repairs, some of the in-text maps just trimmed by binder at margins, the Virginia and New England maps in in the fourth volume expertly backed on linen; generally in fine condition throughout.

Price (AUD): $148,500.00

US$104,881.54   Other currencies

Ref: #4211179

Condition Report