‘PERHAPS THE MOST INTERESTING OF ALL ACCOUNTS OF TURKISH LIFE’

The four epistles ... concerning his embassy into Turkey. Being remarks upon the religion, customs, riches, strength and government of that people. As also a description of their chief cities, and places of trade and commerce. To which is added, his advice how to manage war against the Turks. Done into English.

London, for J. Taylor and J. Wyat, 1694.

12mo, pp. [8], 420, [4, advertisements]; small rust hole to title fore-margin, some foxing to quire T, bound slightly tight; a very good copy in eighteenth-century tree calf, marbled endpapers and edges, neatly rebacked with spine laid down; old ‘King’s Inns Library Dublin’ ink stamps to title verso and p. 420, Dublin bookseller’s label to front pastedown; preserved in a cloth clamshell box.

£1200

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The four epistles ... concerning his embassy into Turkey. Being remarks upon the religion, customs, riches, strength and government of that people. As also a description of their chief cities, and places of trade and commerce. To which is added, his advice how to manage war against the Turks. Done into English.

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First edition in English of Busbecq’s Turkish letters. Busbecq (1522–1592) served as emperor Ferdinand I’s ambassador at the Ottoman Porte between 1555 and 1562. ‘His letters contain perhaps the most interesting of all accounts of Turkish life, and his description and analysis of the Ottoman state can hardly be superseded’ (Blackmer). The letters first appeared in Latin, published successively by Christophe Plantin in 1581, 1582 and 1589. The first letter contains an account of Busbecq’s journey to Constantinople and to Amasya.

In addition to the letters, this edition contains the ‘De acie contra Turcam’ and the text of the peace treaty between the Porte and emperor Ferdinand negotiated by Busbecq. The dedication is signed by the dramatist Nahum Tate, who notes that the anonymous translator died before his English version was published.

Blackmer 253; ESTC R14352.

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