HARIOT, Thomas, [and John WHITE]. - Theodor DE BRY and Johann Theodor DE BRY
[Hariot's Virginia] Admiranda narratio fida tamen, de commodis et incolarum ritibus Virginiae ... Anglico scripta sermone, a Thoma Hariot
Frankfurt: Typis Johannis Wecheli, Sumtibus vero Johannis-Theodori de Bry, '1590' [but circa 1608]. Folio. (13 1/4 x 9 inches). Collation: a4, b6, c4, d6, *2, A6, B-C8, D6, E8, F5. Title page to text with two pasted on paper panels bearing the title and publishing details in Latin, all within an engraved surround (as issued), letterpress title to plates, engraved arms on dedication leaf, blank D6. 1 double-page engraved map of Virginia [Burden 76, state 2], 1 engraved plate of Adam and Eve (first state with inscription "Iodocus a Winghe in / / Theodore de Bry fe", 27 engraved plates after John White (including 5 plates of Picts), with blank D6 but without the final blank F6 (as in Church), various small neat expert repairs, three leaves misbound.
Expertly bound to style in 18th-century blue/green morocco, covers with gilt roll tool border, the flat spine divided into six compartments with gilt roll tools and fillets, lettered in the second compartment, the others tooled with alternating neo-classical tools, 18th-century marbled endpapers
A beautiful copy of the second edition, second issue of this foundation work on the early exploration and delineation of America which combines a critically important text with a series of spectacular images, all relating to the first British colony to be established on the sub-continent.
This volume was the first issued by the publisher, Theodor De Bry, in his extraordinary series, "Grand Voyages," which set out to describe the exploration of the New World. This copy includes a variant title: Church does not mention an issue of the title with letterpress slips pasted in position, but the engraved surround corresponds most closely to Church's third issue. This work recounts the history of the abortive Roanoke colony established by the British in North Carolina in 1585. Thomas Hariot's text, describing the country of Virginia and North Carolina, was first published in London in 1588 (only six copies are known) and here republished in Latin. Hariot, like the artist, John White, was part of the Roanoke expedition and wrote his account from actual observation. It is the first description of the Virginia and Carolina country. The map which accompanies the volume is the first really good map of the Virginia coast and Carolina capes, showing the coast from the mouth of the Chesapeake to Wilmington, North Carolina. John White's illustrations are among the most famous of early American images. White was the lieutenant-governor of the colony, and a skilled artist. His carefully executed watercolors, gleaned from close observation and remarkably accurate renderings of the Carolina Indians and their customs, costumes, rituals, hunting practices and dwellings, are here expertly engraved by De Bry. No other artist so-carefully rendered American Indians until Karl Bodmer worked on the Missouri in the 1830s. Besides these illustrations, there are plates showing White's conception of the ancient Picts of Scotland, to whom he wished to compare the American natives.
Cf. Arents 37; cf. Church 143-144; Cumming & de Vorsey 12; cf. European Americana 590/7; JCB I:396; cf. Sabin 8784; Vail 7 (note).