CAPREOLUS, Helias. De confirmatione Christianae fidei. Brescia, Bernardinus de Misintis, 31 May 1497.
2 works, 4to, ff. 116; 8 (last blank); crisp, wide-margined copies, ownership inscription (Laurentius Terranova) in the first leaf of text, a few ink annotations; in 19th century quarter sheep, plum cloth boards, a little rubbed.
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De patientia aurei libri tres.
First edition of Mantuanus’s work containing -on recto of m3- a lengthy reference to America, one of the very few 15th century instances: a ‘mention of discoveries of islands in the Atlantic, noting their size and the fact that they are inhabited. Because none of the ancient geographers knew of them, the author assumes that they have only lately been discovered’ (Bell). The book also gives accounts of other discoveries in Africa and the far East. Conceived primarily as a Carmelite guide to meditation and spiritual exercises, Mantuanus’ work also explores physical well-being and medicine, with a long section on diseases with also discusses mental illness.
Bound with another rare incunable: the first appearance of Capreolus’ tract on the Christian faith. (3 copies in the US: Huntington, Yale and Seidman library; 2 in the UK: BL and Cardiff).
I: European Americana 497/1; GW 3304; Goff B76; Pell 1810; Polain (B) 486; IGI 1189; Bell B33; not in Harisse or Sabin.
II: Goff C127; HCR 4409; Pell 3233; CIBN C-66; Nice 67; IDL 1125; IBE 1430; IGI 2440; Madsen 1007; Šimáková-Vrchotka 522; Pr 7042; BMC VII 991; BSB-Ink C-100; GW 6031.
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KING’S IMPORTANT ACCOUNT OF BACK’S 1833-1835 ARCTIC EXPEDITION KING, Richard.
Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Arctic Ocean, in 1833, 1834, and 1835; under the Command of Capt. Back.
First edition. The English naval officer and Arctic explorer Sir George Back (1795-1878) was a veteran of Sir John Franklin’s first two Arctic expeditions, and this experience led to his appointment to command an expedition to search for Sir John Ross, whose party searching for the Northwest Passage had vanished in 1829. Ross had taken supplies for three years, so his survival remained a possibility when Back sailed for North America in early 1833, accompanied by the surgeon and naturalist Richard King (1810/1811-1876), who was Back’s deputy. Their party, which departed Montreal in April 1833, explored Thlew-ee-Chow (the ‘Great Fish River’, later re-named ‘Back River’) and located its source, before overwintering at Fort Reliance; in the meanwhile, Ross, who, remarkably, had survived, sailed back to England in late 1833. Back was informed of Ross’ return by letter in April 1834, and instructed to travel to the extreme north-eastern coast of the continent, where he surveyed and explored uncharted areas. Although King was eager to journey further (which would have probably enabled the party to confirm that Boothia was a peninsula), Back wished to turn back, and in the spring of 1835 Back made his way to England via Montreal and New York, and King took command of the expedition, concluding its affairs in North America before returning in Back’s wake.