Fine Books and Manuscripts

Fine Books and Manuscripts

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 170. Coryate, Thomas | "There ... has never been another such combination of learning and unconscious buffoonery".

Coryate, Thomas | "There ... has never been another such combination of learning and unconscious buffoonery"

Lot Closed

December 16, 09:49 PM GMT


8,000 - 10,000 USD

Lot Details


Coryate, Thomas

Coryats Crudities. Hastily gobbled up in five Moneths travells ... London: W[illiam] S[tansby], 1611

4to (216 x 152 mm). Engraved title-page by William Hole, letterpress title-page, five engraved plates (3 of which folding), two in-text engravings, numerous woodcut initials and headpieces, two errata leaves; engraved title-page inserted on a stub, remargined at fore-margin, cropped close, and with a small chip at lower margin, two tape repairs to the folding clock plate, tiny marginal loss to the third folding plate, a few tiny edge tears with longer closed marginal tear to G8 and 2k1, pinhole at head of P6-V4, small burn to P2, 2i4, and 2i7 costing a few letters,  a few early annotations, occasional minor dampstaining. Bound in 19th-century straight-grained red morocco, spine with raised bands in six compartments, second gilt lettered, others with repeat gilt motif, boards ruled and stamped in gilt with central gilt arms of Sir Henry Harben, inside dentelles gilt, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers; lightly rubbed at extremities, corners bumped.

First edition of Coryate's eccentric account of his peregrinations on foot through Europe in 1608. A "there and back again" to Venice, Coryate ended his journey by literally hanging up his shoes in the parish church at Odcombe. The book is renowned for its series of faux-heroic elegies on the author's achievements by Jonson, Campion, Donne and others of the Mermaid Tavern set. 

"There probably has never been another such combination of learning and unconscious buffoonery as is here set forth. Coryate was a serious and pedantic traveller who (as he states in his title) in five months toilsome travel wandered, mostly on foot, over a large part (by his own reckoning 1,975 miles) of western Europe. His adventures probably appeared to his contemporaries as more ridiculous than exciting, but at this remove, his chronicle by its very earnestness provides an account of the chief cities of early seventeenth century Europe which is at least valuable as it is amusing. It was probably his difficulties with the booksellers which induced Coryate to solicit the extraordinary sheaf of testimonials prefixed to the volume" (Pforzheimer 218).

The present copy collates the same as Pforzheimer, who states: "Perfect copies with the plates intact are not common ... The D.N.B. has repeated the statement that the Chetham copy is the only perfect one known" (Pforzheimer 218). The clock plate of the present copy is uncropped, which is uncommon.


Cox 98; Keynes 70; Pforzheimer 218


Sir Henry Harben (gilt arms to boards) — Henry Devenish Harben (bookplate to front free-endpaper) — Sir Henry St. John Mildmay (Dogmersfield Library to pastedown) — Arthur and Charlotte Versbow (bookplate to verso of front free-endpaper)