The History of America ...

London: Printed for W. Strahan … T. Cadell … and W. Balfour, at Edinburgh. 1777.

2 vols, 4to, pp. xvii, [7], 488; [4], 535, [1], [20, index and errata]; with four folding maps and one folding plate (of Aztec paintings, facing p. 482, volume II); the half-titles present but pasted down to the front free endpapers, old repairs to small holes in margin of two leaves at the end of vol. I, one gathering foxed, else a fine copy in contemporary mottled calf, contrasting morocco spine-labels.


US $1115€1137

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First edition of this important work which from its first publication ‘held its place as the standard history of the discovery of the New World until the 1840s. In it the views of sixteenth-century and later writers are synthesized clearly and cautiously, with due allowance for bias’ (Honour).

Robertson’s ‘vivid descriptions and philosophical disquisitions on aboriginal society captivated the literary world, while the outbreak of the American war rendered it more popular than either of its predecessors ...’ (DNB).

Divided into eight books, it narrates the history of the discovery of America and of the conquest of Mexico and Peru. The maps apparently are not always present – the Hill copy, which does not have them, includes a note, signed by T. Cadell, to the purchaser of the history, entitling him to four maps that were intended for the books, but were not finished in time. A third volume was published after the author's death in 1796.

Hill, p. 254; Palau 270979; Sabin 71973-4.

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