Lot 162
  • 162

Purchas, Samuel

25,000 - 35,000 USD
25,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • 'Purchas His Pilgrimes in Five Bookes. [with] Purchase his Pilgrimage, or Relations of the world and the Religions.' London: Printed by William Stansby for Henrie Fetherstone, 1625; 1626
  • paper, ink
5 volumes, folio (329 x 210 mm). Five letter-press titles, 7 double-page engraved maps, including the Virginia map, and a repeat of China, 81 half-page engraved maps in-text, woodcut and a few engraved text illustrations and decorative woodcut initials; contemporary marginal manicules, scattered rust marks, some offsetting from illustrations, occasional dampstaining and marginal tears and minor losses, occasional expert repairs affecting text (e.g. vol. 1: AC3 DF2 P6 2a5 2x5, vol 2: 4q4 4t5d5 5z6, vol 3: B3 O6 3e5-6 3n6 4h4 4s1-2 4t2,5-6, vol 5: title, KkNnOoZz3c3m5-6 3n3-4 4s6), lacking engraved title to vol 1, vol 3 title and following leaf extended, vol 3 gatherings ggg-iii particularly soiled with the last two leaves inlaid, Virginia map shaved in tail-edge affecting text and image. Nineteenth-century brown morocco over cloth, covers gilt ruled, spine gilt in 6 compartments, top edges gilt; extremities rubbed, cloth quite worn in places, corners occasionally bumped.


Church 401A; Alden-Landis 625/173; Hill 1403; Borba de Moraes II, pp. 692-93; Sabin 66682-86; STC 20509 & 20508.5

Catalogue Note

First edition, with fourth edition of the Pilgrimage as issued. "one of the fullest and most important collections of voyages and travels in the English language" (Church).

A nice copy of the great collection of exploration narratives from antiquity through the up-to-date accounts of John Smith. The work was a continuation of Hakluyt who left a large collection of manuscripts which came into the hands of Samuel Purchas (c. 1577-1626) in about 1620. The work took more than three years to print, and was the largest book published on an English press to that time.

Purchas edited oral accounts and manuscripts, translated texts in classical and foreign languages, and reprinted previously published works. His only original contributions came in the form of various editorials scattered through the volumes on, among other things, Solomon's voyage to Ophir, Pope Alexander's bulls of donation of 1493, the "iniquitie" of papal power, the history of Europe, and "Virginia's Verger," an ideological justification for English settlement in Virginia in the wake of the Powhatan uprising of 1622 ('Pilgrimes,' 4.1809-26). Though his editorial methods are often compared unfavorably with Hakluyt's, his work was probably more influential and more widely read.