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  • [Epistola de insulis nuper inventis]. by (COLUMBUS LETTER FACSIMILE). PILINSKI, Adam, publisher. COLUMBUS. (COLUMBUS LETTER FACSIMILE). PILINSKI, Adam, publisher. COLUMBUS. ~ [Epistola de insulis nuper inventis]. [Paris: Adam Pilinski, 1858].
    Pilinski’s remarkable facsimile of the the ‘Columbus Letter’ (the Latin version printed at Basel in 1493, the first illustrated edition). This is the first issue… (more)

    Pilinski’s remarkable facsimile of the the ‘Columbus Letter’ (the Latin version printed at Basel in 1493, the first illustrated edition). This is the first issue of the facsimile, made by Pilinksi from the imperfect copy in the Royal Library, Munich (which wants the first and last leaves bearing 4 additional woodcuts). A second issue of 10 leaves added facsimiles of the woodcuts from the copy in the Lenox Library. It is considered that there were only 20 copies of each issue.

    Polish born Pilinski (1810-87) was the pre-eminent facsimilist in France, later creating the series Monuments de la Xylographie Française du XV siècle (1882-3) (McKitterick, Old Books, New Technologies, p. 108). He pioneered combined techniques of photography and lithography to create facsimiles of unrivalled quality.

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  • Histoire des hommes du Nord ou Danois et Normands. Depuis les temps les plus reculés, jusqu’a la conquête de l’Angleterre par Guillaume de Normandie... by WHEATON, Henry. Emma CHUPPIN [de GERMIGNY, translator]. WHEATON, Henry. Emma CHUPPIN [de GERMIGNY, translator]. ~ Histoire des hommes du Nord ou Danois et Normands. Depuis les temps les plus reculés, jusqu’a la conquête de l’Angleterre par Guillaume de Normandie... France, c. 1830s.
    An unpublished French translation of Wheaton’s influential History of the Northmen (1831) by Emma Chuppin de Germigny (1809?-1852). History of the Northmen is notable as… (more)

    An unpublished French translation of Wheaton’s influential History of the Northmen (1831) by Emma Chuppin de Germigny (1809?-1852). History of the Northmen is notable as the first book in English to claim that America had been discovered by the Norse before the voyage of Columbus.

    The translator Emma Chuppin de Germigny was the daughter of a noble emigré settled in Normandy after the Revolution. A long biographical entry in the Mémoires of the Caen Académie recounts her life: her family’s reduced circumstances necessitated her work as a schoolmistress in Caen, during which time she produced a series of scholarly works (including the Wheaton translation). She published a history of music in Normandy from the ninth century to her own day (1836) and an account of the Bayeux Tapestry (1846). Her translation of Wheaton’s work was not published, though the form of this manuscript, and Emma’s circumstances, strongly suggests it was intended to be. It is almost certainly in her autograph, with occasional corrections. In the event, a French edition by Paul Guillot, with numerous additional apparatus, appeared at Paris in 1844.

    Wheaton, a native of Providence, Rhode Island and an alumnus of Brown University was prominent as a lawyer, diplomat and antiquarian. His research into Scandinavian history began with his appointment to Denmark as chargé d’affaires in 1827.

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  • Naufrage du Brick La jeune Sophie, incendié par du vitriol; raconté par une des victimes naufragées, venant de l’Isle de la Trinité. by (SHIPWRECK). (SHIPWRECK). ~ Naufrage du Brick La jeune Sophie, incendié par du vitriol; raconté par une des victimes naufragées, venant de l’Isle de la Trinité. Paris: J. M. Eberhart, [se vend au Palais-Royal...], 1818.
    First edition, rare, of this true first hand account of a Caribbean shipwreck. Sailing from Le Havre in 1817, the barque La Jeune Sophie, was… (more)

    First edition, rare, of this true first hand account of a Caribbean shipwreck. Sailing from Le Havre in 1817, the barque La Jeune Sophie, was wrecked off the coast of Trinidad following a fire in its cargo of vitriol. Some of the crew set out in a lifeboat aiming to reach Rio de Janeiro for assistance, while the captain and remaining crew of 18 were left on a deserted part of Trinidad. The pamphlet recounts their exploration of the island, before they were picked up by the Salem ship, Marie-Eliza bound for Sumatra, leaving a message in a bottle in case the Rio party returned. They were dropped at the Cape of Good Hope, and took ship for France. The safe return of the Rio party is also recounted, following their finding of the Captain’s message among the ruins of their encampment. Worldcat locates a single copy (Stanford).

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  • The Life and Adventures of Bampfylde-Moore Carew, commonly called the King of the Beggars. Being an impartial Account of his Life, from his leaving Tiverton School at the Age of fifteen and entering into a Society of Gipsies; wherein the Motives of his Conduct are related and explained: The great Number of Characters and Shapes he has appeared in through Great Britain, Ireland, and several other Places of Europe: with his Travels twice through great Part of America: Giving a particular Account of the Origin, Government, Laws, and Customs of the Gipsies, with the Method of electing their King. And a Dictionary of the Cant Language used by the Mendicants. by CAREW, Bampfylde-Moore. CAREW, Bampfylde-Moore. ~ The Life and Adventures of Bampfylde-Moore Carew, commonly called the King of the Beggars. Being an impartial Account of his Life, from his leaving Tiverton School at the Age of fifteen and entering into a Society of Gipsies; wherein the Motives of his Conduct are related and explained: The great Number of Characters and Shapes he has appeared in through Great Britain, Ireland, and several other Places of Europe: with his Travels twice through great Part of America: Giving a particular Account of the Origin, Government, Laws, and Customs of the Gipsies, with the Method of electing their King. And a Dictionary of the Cant Language used by the Mendicants. London: for J. Buckland, C. Bathurst and T. Davies, 1793.
    The celebrated life of a colourful swindler and impostor, first published in 1745 and reprinted numerous times. This is one of two editions printed for… (more)

    The celebrated life of a colourful swindler and impostor, first published in 1745 and reprinted numerous times. This is one of two editions printed for Buckland, Bathurst and Davies in 1793. The final 5 pages contain a notable cant dictionary.

    Carew fell in with a band of gypsies as a wayward young boy. “After a year and a half Carew returned home for a time, but soon after resumed a career of swindling and imposture, which saw him deceive people to whom he had previously been well known. Eventually he embarked for Newfoundland, but stayed only a short time. On his return to England he passed as the mate of a vessel, and eloped with the daughter of a respectable apothecary from Newcastle upon Tyne, whom he later married.

    Carew soon returned to the nomadic life, and when Clause Patch, a Gypsy king or chief, died Carew was elected his successor. He was convicted of being an idle vagrant, and sentenced to be transported to Maryland. On his arrival he attempted to escape, but was captured and made to wear a heavy iron collar; he escaped again, and encountered some Native Americans, who removed his shackles. On departure he travelled to Pennsylvania. He was then said to have swum the Delaware River, after which he adopted the guise of a Quaker, and made his way to Philadelphia, then to New York, and finally to Boston, where he embarked for England. He escaped impressment on board a man-of-war by pricking his hands and face, and rubbing in bay salt and gunpowder, so as to simulate smallpox” (John Ashton, rev. Heather Shore in Oxford DNB).

    This biography is variously attributed to Bampfylde Moore Carew himself, to Robert Goadby and also to his wife, Mrs. Goadby.

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  • Notes sur les anciens peuples, sur quelques curieux phenomênes, sur les sept merveilles du monde, et du Dauphiné, ses montagnes, grottes, fontaines, fleuves & pour les trouver facilement dans l’atlas, suivant lordre, et numero des cartes, avec les longitudes et latitudes. by DOESNEL, D. H. [owner and ?maker]. DOESNEL, D. H. [owner and ?maker]. ~ Notes sur les anciens peuples, sur quelques curieux phenomênes, sur les sept merveilles du monde, et du Dauphiné, ses montagnes, grottes, fontaines, fleuves & pour les trouver facilement dans l’atlas, suivant lordre, et numero des cartes, avec les longitudes et latitudes. France, c. 1800-1812.
    An idiosyncratic personal index of useful and curious facts, mainly geographical, in part forming an index to the Encyclopédie Méthodique (which had been issued in… (more)

    An idiosyncratic personal index of useful and curious facts, mainly geographical, in part forming an index to the Encyclopédie Méthodique (which had been issued in print without an index), a gazetteer to its Atlas, and an index to various other books, such as Valmont de Bomare’s Histoire Naturelle and Lacroix’s Géographie. A homespun affair, the volume is rather haphazardly arranged and presented in homemade boards covered in rather fine contemporary wallpaper. It includes references to regions, cities and landmarks in Europe, Asia, Africa and America (the latter including mentions of Cabot, Columbus and Penn) and several ingenious diagrams of the rivers of France.

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  • [Poor Richard’s Almanac/The Way to Wealth, in French.] La Science du bonhomme Richard, ou moyen facile de payer les impôts. Traduit de l’anglois. Seconde édition, exactement semblable à la première. by FRANKLIN, Benjamin. FRANKLIN, Benjamin. ~ [Poor Richard’s Almanac/The Way to Wealth, in French.] La Science du bonhomme Richard, ou moyen facile de payer les impôts. Traduit de l’anglois. Seconde édition, exactement semblable à la première. “A Philadelphie, et se trouve à Paris, chez Ruault...” 1778.
    One of several French editions of 1778. The Way to Wealth first appeared in French as a separate publication in 1775. The original English text… (more)

    One of several French editions of 1778. The Way to Wealth first appeared in French as a separate publication in 1775. The original English text was first published in Poor Richard’s Almanac for 1758; separately issued in 1760 under the title: Father Abraham’s Speech and frequently reprinted under the title: The Way to Wealth. La Science du bonhomme Richard was translated by A.F. Quétant; the Interrogatoire de Mr. Franklin by P.S. Dupont de Nemours and the Interrogatoire de M. Penn by A.F. Quétant and J.B. L’Écuy. Ford, Franklin Bibliography, 114

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  • La Fête Champêtre. The second Edition. by FETE CHAMPETRE. FETE CHAMPETRE. ~ La Fête Champêtre. The second Edition. London: Printed for J. Almon. 1774.
    Second edition (of three appearing in 1774). ESTC: ‘A satire on the party given at the Oaks by Edward Smith-Stanley, later Earl of Derby, in… (more)

    Second edition (of three appearing in 1774). ESTC: ‘A satire on the party given at the Oaks by Edward Smith-Stanley, later Earl of Derby, in honour of his approaching marriage’ (citing Hazen, Horace Walpole’s Library, 3222:13). Though Smith-Stanley entered Parliament in 1774, his priorities were more on the racecourse than in the Commons. His bucolic feast apparently clashed with an important sitting of the Commons: ‘It was remarkable most of the party were absent from the H. of C. the day before this celebrated Fête; even the M———r did not appear the day itself, though the most important bill was in agitation which has passed this century, and on which the fate of many thousands people depended’ (p. 11 n.). The Quebec Act was passed on that day (22 June).

    ‘On 23 June 1774 [Smith-Stanley] married... Lady Elizabeth Hamilton (1753–1797)... The marriage was marked by a glittering social assembly hosted by Burgoyne at The Oaks, Epsom, Surrey... Burgoyne's play The Maid of the Oaks was written for the occasion. In 1779, having borne three children, the countess left Derby for the questionable charms of John Frederick Sackville, third duke of Dorset, the most notorious rake of the day (Oxford DNB). Not in Jackson; all three editions are quite scarce. Of this one ESTC lists 11 copies.

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  • A Political Fair. by WOODWARD, [George Murgatroyd]. WOODWARD, [George Murgatroyd]. ~ A Political Fair. London: Thomas Tegg, October 1st 1807.
    George Woodward, affectionately dubbed ‘Mustard George’ by his contemporaries, was one of the pioneers of English caricature. Like his drinking-partner Thomas Rowlandson, Woodward absorbed high… (more)

    George Woodward, affectionately dubbed ‘Mustard George’ by his contemporaries, was one of the pioneers of English caricature. Like his drinking-partner Thomas Rowlandson, Woodward absorbed high and low culture omnivorously and paid keen attention to contemporary politics.

    A Political Fair is ‘a fantastic survey of the international situation’ in 1807 and is considered one of Woodward’s finest images, the print catalogue of the British Museum devoting two full pages to its complex allegories. At the heart of the fair is a large booth (‘The Best-Booth in the Fair’) representing Great Britain holding aloft on its platform images of Britannia, John Bull, together with an Irishman, Scotsman and Welsh harpist gathered convivially around a punchbowl, while a waiter sweeps into the chamber below with a vast joint of roast beef on his platter. All this was typical of Woodward’s patriotism and was intended to portray the essential unity of the nation amidst the host of clamouring figures in the neighbouring booths representing the other nations. Napoleon, in tricorn and feathers, rebuffs a disgruntled Dutchman complaining about his King with the words ‘I never change Mynheer after the goods are taken out of the Shop’. High up on the right, the American booth displays a placard advertising ‘Much ado about Nothing with the Deserter’, a reference to the friction between Britain and the United States over recent defections from British to American ships and the ban on armed British ships in American ports. The Danish booth on the left advertises ‘The English Fleet and The Devil to Pay’ in reference to the hideous bombardment of Copenhagen by the British fleet in September that year.

    Musical and theatrical references abound, with many of the placards punning on the titles of plays and musical performances then showing in London: Much ado about Nothing, All’s well that ends well (Shakespeare), The Padlock (Bickerstaffe), The Deserter (Dibdin), The Double Dealer (on the Russian booth, by Congreve) and The English Fleet (Dibdin again). BM Satires, 10763

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  • [HARDY, Thomas.] ~ The patriot. Addressed to the people, on the present state of affairs in Britain and in France. With observations on Republican government, and discussions of the principles advanced in the writings of Thomas Paine. Edinburgh: for J. Dickson and G. Nichol in London, 1793.
    First edition of a rather reactionary consideration of Paine’s republicanism which includes notice of the earlier critique by John Quincy Adams. A second edition appeared… (more)

    First edition of a rather reactionary consideration of Paine’s republicanism which includes notice of the earlier critique by John Quincy Adams. A second edition appeared later in the same year. Hardy was a Scottish cleric, not to be confused with the radical Thomas Hardy, founder of the London Corresponding Society. Their positions cannot have been much farther apart. Sabin 59081.

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  • Recherches sur les vertus de l’eau de goudron, où l'on joint des Réfléctions Philosophiques sur diverses autres sujets... Avec deux Lettres de l'Auteur... by BERKELEY, George. BERKELEY, George. ~ Recherches sur les vertus de l’eau de goudron, où l'on joint des Réfléctions Philosophiques sur diverses autres sujets... Avec deux Lettres de l'Auteur... Amsterdam: Pierre Mortier, 1745.
    First edition in French of Siris, a Chain of philosophical Reflections and Enquiries concerning the Virtues of Tar-water (1744) and of Berkeley’s two letters on… (more)

    First edition in French of Siris, a Chain of philosophical Reflections and Enquiries concerning the Virtues of Tar-water (1744) and of Berkeley’s two letters on the subject to Thomas Prior.

    ‘In 1744 appeared one of [Berkeley’s] most controversial works. Siris is a reconciliation of medicine with metaphysics, best known for its advocacy of the medicinal value of tar water, a native American preventative distilled from pine resins. Having conducted his own experiments Berkeley made specific claims for its beneficial effect in alleviating fevers, gout, scurvy, and dropsy. In trying to understand the cosmical principles that might explain this he conceived the possibility, which others took up with greater alacrity, that its properties might be those of a universal panacea, operating as condensed light. Siris had exceptional sales, primarily as a home medicine guide, for a few years and was translated into most western European languages, but its medical claims also provoked criticism’ (Oxford DNB).

    Siris is, however, more than just a medical work and the consideration of tar-water led Berkeley into a lengthy chain of reflections on the principles of the universe and of divine providence. Blake p. 43; Wellcome II, p. 149; Rochedieu p. 23.

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  • A stylish exit
    An Account of the Execution of the late Laurence Earl Ferrers, Viscount Tamworth, and of His Lordship's Behaviour, From the Time of his being delivered into the Custody of the Sherriffs of London and Middlesex, Until the Time of his Execution. By the Authority of the Sherriffs. by [SHIRLEY, Laurence, fourth Earl Ferrers.] [SHIRLEY, Laurence, fourth Earl Ferrers.] ~ An Account of the Execution of the late Laurence Earl Ferrers, Viscount Tamworth, and of His Lordship's Behaviour, From the Time of his being delivered into the Custody of the Sherriffs of London and Middlesex, Until the Time of his Execution. By the Authority of the Sherriffs. London: sold by M. Cooper, 1760.
    FIRST EDITION of the scarce licensed report of the celebrated case of the execution of the Fourth Earl Ferrers, Viscount Tamworth, said to have been… (more)

    FIRST EDITION of the scarce licensed report of the celebrated case of the execution of the Fourth Earl Ferrers, Viscount Tamworth, said to have been the "first sufferer by the new drop just then introduced in the place of the barbarous cart, ladder, and mediaeval three-cornered gibbet" (DNB citing All the Year Round and Walpole's Letters).

    Ferrers had been found guilty of the murder of a household steward whom he had shot at his house at Staunton Harrold, Leicestershire, apparently as a result of a long-held grudge. His execution at Tyburn was a remarkable public spectacle as this report attests. The victim chose to dress for his execution in a pale suit embroidered with silver and was taken from the Tower in his own landau drawn by six horses "instead of the Mourning-Coach which had been provided by his friends" through the streets of London, which were lined with hundreds of thousands of spectators. Maintaining an elegant composure to the last and giving the customary tribute to his executioners (who squabbled over the five guineas he gave them) Ferrers submitted to the new apparatus which did its job with only limited success. The platform "instantly sunk down from beneath his Feet, and left him entirely suspended; but not having sunk down so low as was designed, it was immediately pressed down, and leveled with the rest of the floor." While it is admitted that Ferrers died only when "eased of all Pain by the Pressure of the Executioner" the account denies that the execution was bungled and specifically refutes reports that "his Lordship stood for some time on tip-toe". The account concludes with the conveyance of Ferrers's body to Surgeon's Hall to be dissected and anatomized according to the relatively recent act (25 Geo. II. C. 37 'An Act for Better Preventing the Horrid Crime of Murder').

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