PURCHAS, Samuel (1575?-1626)
Purchas His Pilgrimes ... [with] Purchas His Pilgimage ... the fourth edition
London: printed by William Stansby for Henrie Fetherstone, 1625 - 1626. Together 5 volumes, folio. (13 x 8 3/8 inches). Vol.I with blank R4. Engraved additional title to vol.I, 88 engraved maps (6 double-page and 1 folding, 81 half-page and within the text), 7 other engraved illustrations, numerous wood-cut illustrations. (Vol.III lacking front blank).
Early 20th-century green morocco gilt by W. Pratt, covers with large central gilt arabesque, spines in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in gilt in the second and third compartments, marbled endpapers, g.e.
A fine set of a foundation work for any collection of travels and voyages: the first edition of "Purchas his Pilgrimes" with the second state of engraved title dated 1625, and Smith's map of Virginia in Verner's 8th state: together with the fourth edition of the "Pilgrimage" (issued here as a supplement) The whole forming an important set of narratives of travels and exploration from the earliest times up until the early 17th century.
The second great collection of English voyages, expanding upon and greatly adding to the work of Hakluyt, whose manuscripts Purchas took over after Hakluyt's death. Purchas collects over twelve hundred separate narratives of explorations in every part of the world. Many of the accounts relate to the New World, especially Virginia, and one of the engraved maps is Smith's famous "Map of Virginia"
Besides the Smith Virginia map, Purchas also includes two other maps of the greatest importance for North American cartography. The first of these is the "Briggs" map of North America, generally considered the first map to show California as an island. The Briggs map is also the first to note New Mexico by that name, and the first to name the Hudson River and Hudson Bay. The other notable American map is William Alexander's depiction of the Northeast, showing the coast from Massachusetts north to Newfoundland. As Burden notes, this is the first map to record many place names and is a "map of great importance."
Purchas began work on his massive collection in 1611, and published various editions of a short collection, with the similar title of "Purchas His Pilgrimage," over the next ten years. That publication, however, was merely a precursor to the present work, an entirely different book and arguably the greatest collection of travels and voyages ever published. The first two volumes are mainly devoted to travels in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The third volume largely treats northern explorations and America. The fourth volume is almost entirely devoted to America. The fifth volume, Pilgrimage , is a supplement to all of the preceding parts, and properly completes a set of Purchas' Pilgrimes.
Arents 158; Baer Maryland 8; Borba de Moraes II, pp.692-693; Burden 164, 208, 214; Church 401A; European Americana 625/173 & 626/100; Hill (2004) 1403; Huth sale 6057; JCB (3)II:196-197; Sabin 66686 and cf. 66682; Streit I:423; STC 20509 & 20508; Streeter Sale 36.