Item #5000642 Mundus alter et idem. Sive Terra Australis antehac semper incognita… [with] Francis BACON: Nova Atlantis [and] Thomas CAMPANELLA: Civitas Solis Poetica. Joseph HALL.
Mundus alter et idem. Sive Terra Australis antehac semper incognita… [with] Francis BACON: Nova Atlantis [and] Thomas CAMPANELLA: Civitas Solis Poetica.
Mundus alter et idem. Sive Terra Australis antehac semper incognita… [with] Francis BACON: Nova Atlantis [and] Thomas CAMPANELLA: Civitas Solis Poetica.

Mundus alter et idem. Sive Terra Australis antehac semper incognita…
Mundus alter et idem. Sive Terra Australis antehac semper incognita… [with] Francis BACON: Nova Atlantis [and] Thomas CAMPANELLA: Civitas Solis Poetica.

Utrecht: Johannes Waesberge, 1643.

Three works published together as one volume, duodecimo, with an engraved title to the first work and five folding maps; a fine copy in contemporary unlettered vellum.

"How can they assert that it is unknown?"

A lovely copy of the first edition of this important collection of imaginary worlds, which includes the third edition of Bishop Hall's Mundus Alter; it is accompanied by the third edition of Thomas Campanella's theocratic utopia Civitas Solis Poetica and Francis Bacon's capitalistic Christian utopia Nova Atlantis.

A lovely copy of the first edition of this important collection of imaginary worlds, which includes the third edition of Bishop Hall's Mundus Alter; it is accompanied by the third edition of Thomas Campanella's theocratic utopia Civitas Solis Poetica and Francis Bacon's capitalistic Christian utopia Nova Atlantis.

Hall's important imaginary voyage is 'One of the earliest, if not the earliest of the fictitious voyages set in Australia… an extremely rare work and seldom offered for sale' (Davidson). To authenticate his invented antipodean world he includes a series of maps with a highly fanciful cartography of the southern regions.

His hero "Mercurius" journeys to the Great Southern Continent on his ship the Phantasia, visiting the four main regions of Terra Australis: Crapulia, the land of gluttons; Lavernia, of brigands; Fooliana, of snobs; and Viraginia, of women. Hall's imagined maps show a vast Southern land mass stretching around the globe, inspired by the work of Ortelius, and showing the influence of Mercator and Plancius. Mercurius makes the wonderful remark: 'It has always annoyed me to find that maps invariably carry the legend "The Unknown Southern Land". And indeed who could be so soulless as to read it without silent indignation? For if they know it to be a land, and a southern land, how can they assert that it is unknown? And if it is unknown, whence comes that shape and position which the cartographers agree unanimously in depicting?'.

Largely due to this work, Hall anointed himself the 'first English satirist'. Heylyn was unqualified in his praise of this 'witty and ingenious invention', and it inspired contemporary writers such as Burton and Bacon. But the savagery of his satire would eventually lead to condemnation: Milton's 1642 work Apology for Smectymnuus would cause Hall's loss of his bishopric and lead to a four-month stint in the Tower of London. Hall never recovered from this ignominy, and 'died in poverty in 1656 despite his services to church and nation (a fate somewhat recalling that of More and many other utopists)' (Fausett).

The various imperfections of the societies that Hall describes form his warning 'against the exaggerated expectations cherished in the idealistic utopias of his day' (Reitinger, "Discovering the Moral World", Mercator's World)

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Provenance: Johann Hermann Schnobel (1727-1802), cantor and historian of Lübeck (with armorial bookplate and half a page of notes in Latin).

Gibson, 'St. Thomas More… with a Bibliography of Utopiana', 702; Heylyn, 1093; Presley, 4 XI, p. 520.

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