PURCHAS, Samuel (ca 1575-1626). Purchas his Pilgrimage, or Relations of the World and the Religions Observed in Al Ages and Places discovered, from Creation unto this Present. London: William Stansby, 1617.

$ 2,800.00

Folio (11 2/8 x 7 1/8 inches). Engraved head- and tail-pieces, and initials (a few pages with minor waterstaining, last leaf strengthened on the verso). Original speckled calf (rebacked preserving most of the original spine, although a bit worn).

Provenance: with the 19th-century ownership inscription of Frederick B. Windsor on the front free endpaper; with the engraved armorial bookplate of Arthur Quiller Couch "Q", (1863–1944), on the front paste-down.

Third edition, first published in 1613, and his first published compilation of travel literature with a second, expanded edition published in 1614 using books lent to him by his great predecessor in the memorializing of English travel narratives, Richard Hakluyt. Two further editions appeared in 1617 and 1626. The better known "Purchas his Pilgrimes. In five bookes", which completed Hakluyt's own collection of travel accounts, was first published in 1625.

Two of the nine books of "Purchas his Pilgrimage" are collections of accounts of the Americas: "Relations of the Discoveries, Regions, and Religions, of the New World, of New France, Virginia, Florida; New Spaine, with other Religions of America, Mexicana, and of their Religions. The Eighth Booke" and "Relations of the Discoveries, Regions, and Religions, of the New World. Of Cumana, Guiana, Brasil, Chica, Chili, Peru, and other Regions of America Peruviana, and of their Religions. The Ninth Booke." 

Since the nineteenth century "Purchas's editorial methods have always been contrasted unfavourably with Hakluyt's, though his influence (and the European dissemination of his works) were arguably much greater. Unlike Hakluyt, Purchas attempted to construct an argument upon geographical and historical evidence that was cosmopolitan, pan-European, global, and transhistorical" (David Armitage for DNB). 

From the distinguished library of Sir Arthur Quiller Couch, better known as "Q". Q "published nearly forty novels, short-story collections, and anthologies.... He initiated the Oxford Books series with The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250–1900 (1900, revised and extended to 1918 in 1939). This volume soon became the standard anthology of English verse and sold nearly a million volumes during Q's lifetime... Q combined public service with his prodigious writing, working tirelessly for improvement in Cornish education, and holding numerous local offices. He spent over thirty years on Cornwall's education committee, which was established to create a countywide system of grammar schools provided for in the Education Act of 1902. His reward for his public service was a knighthood in 1910 and his appointment as the second King Edward VII professor of English literature at Cambridge University in 1912" (Michael Douglas Smith for DNB).  JCB II, 120; STC 20507. Catalogued by Kate Hunter