Three vols bound in two, folio, pp. I: , 619, [1 (blank)], II: , 312, 204, III: , 868; without folding engraved map; woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces; dampstaining and slight soiling to lower outer corners of vols I and II, and some dampstaining to corners of vol. III, closed tears without loss to vol. I pp. 69-72, some toning, occasional small marks; overall a good set in early nineeteenth-century red morocco, gilt borders and cornerpieces, spines gilt-ruled in compartments, lettered and numbered directly in gilt, edges gilt, dark blue glazed endpapers; some wear to spines, joints, and corners, a few small marks and abrasions to boards, spines darkened, hinges partially split; modern gift inscription to front endpaper of vol. I, eighteenth-or nineteeth-century notes in Spanish to front endpaper of vol. II and occasional marginal ink annotations (cropped).
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The principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, made by Sea or over-land, to the remote and farthest distant Quarters of the Earth, at any Time within the Compasse of these 1500 yeeres …
Second edition, first issue of ‘Hakluyt’s monumental masterpiece, and the great prose epic of the Elizabethan period’ (Penrose), complete with the section on the conquest of Cadiz by Essex (vol. I, pp. 607-619) ordered suppressed by Elizabeth I in 1599 (in ESTC state 1a).
The edition of 1598/9-1600 was greatly expanded from the single-volume original version of 1589 and effectively a new work – ‘the first edition contained about 700,000 words, while the second contained about 1,700,000 ... In design it was similar to the first edition: the first volume concerned voyages to the north and northeast; the second volume, to the south and southeast; the third volume, to America. All sections were expanded; the first two were approximately doubled and the American part was almost tripled. Much that was new and important was included: the travels of Newbery and Fitch, Lancaster’s first voyage, the new achievements in the Spanish Main, and particularly Ralegh’s tropical adventures. At first sight the expanded work appears a vast, confused repository, but closer examination reveals a definite unity and a continuous thread of policy. The book must always remain a great work of history, and a great sourcebook of geography, while the accounts themselves constitute a body of narrative literature which is of the highest value in understanding the spirit and the tendencies of the Tudor age’ (Penrose, p. 318).
In common with all but a few copies it lacks the map – of the 240 copies in Quinn’s census only nineteen have the map and he remarks that even allowing for the ravages of time this ‘survival rate is sufficiently low to raise the possibility that not all copies were equipped with the map, either because it was made available after many sets had been sold (which would mean that its date might be later than 1599), or because it was an optional extra supplied at additional cost’ (p. 496).
ESTC S106744; PMM 105; Sabin 29595, 29597, 29598.
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