The history of the Herculean Straits, now called the Straits of Gibraltar: including those ports of Spain and Barbary that lie contiguous thereto . . . Illustrated with several copper plates.

London, Charles Rivington for the author, 1771.

Two volumes, 4to, pp. viii, [ii], 379; [iv], 414; with seven engraved plates (of which six folding) and nine folding maps and plans; an engraved plan in the text (vol. II p. 330); short repaired tear in plate facing p. 293 in vol. II; contemporary speckled calf, spines gilt and with contrasting red and green morocco lettering-pieces; spines and extremities rubbed, joints cracked but firm; armorial bookplates of Charles Allen Crawley; from the library of Ian Robertson (1928–2020).

£1500

Approximately:
US $2033€1792

Add to basket Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
The history of the Herculean Straits, now called the Straits of Gibraltar: including those ports of Spain and Barbary that lie contiguous thereto . . . Illustrated with several copper plates.

Checkout now

First edition of this substantial work on Gibraltar and the surrounding area. Thomas James (c. 1720–1782) joined the Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1738 and spent six years on the Rock between May 1749 and May 1755 (see vol. II p. 45). Promoted to captain in 1755, he led a company to Quebec in 1759, returning to England in 1761. At some point he returned to North America, where he wrote or at least completed this work.

‘Col. James twice took his long leave in Spain – “nine weeks of two summers” – one of which was spent at Coín, and another in making the excursion to Granada accompanied by Col. William Denny, later governor of Pennsylvania. First they sailed to Estepona, and hence rode along the coast to Málaga. While at Granada Col. James drew a plan of the Alhambra, “and particularly described that castle, palace, and city; but”, as he goes on to explain, “unluckily those . . . with many manuscripts, maps, plans, views, curiosities, and a choice library were burnt on the first of November, 1765, with all the apparel of my family, and the whole furniture of my house, commonly called Vaux-hall, by the inhabitants of New York, on account of the stamp act” ’ (Robertson).

Besides much historical matter (both ancient and more recent), there are four chapters on Cádiz, one on Tétouan and Ceuta, as well as chapters on the geology of the Rock and on ‘fish, shells, birds, vegetation, etc.’.

ESTC T93451; Palau 122872; Playfair, Morocco 410. See Robertson, Los curiosos impertinentes (1992) pp. 44–5.

You may also be interested in...

JACOB, William.

Travels in the south of Spain, in letters written A.D. 1809 and 1810.

First edition. William Jacob (?1762–1851), Member of Parliament for Rye in Sussex, was a merchant whose South American trading interests made him an enthusiastic supporter of the Spanish American colonies. He spent six months in Spain during the early stages of the Peninsular War, although he writes as a civilian.

Read more

[MOORE, John, attributed author.]

Scenes and adventures in Spain from 1835 to 1840. By Poco Mas.

First edition; rare. According to the anonymous (and slightly ungenerous) critic in the British Quarterly Review of August and November 1846, this unfairly neglected work is ‘written by a gentleman by the name of Moore, who was, we believe, the correspondent of the Morning Chronicle from 1835 to 1840 in the north of Spain, and with the army of Espartero. His work is, we believe, a most faithful and conscientious transcript of occurrences, and this is its only merit . . . . On the convention of Bergara, and of the events of the 25th of August, 1840, subsequent to the Queen’s journey to Catalonia, his work contains a full and faithful account. He is evidently an amiable, benevolent, and kindly man, and his work is trustworthy’.

Read more