A True and Almost Incredible Report of an Englishman, that (being cast away in the good Ship called the Assension in Cambaya, the farthest part of the East Indies) travelled by Land thorow many unknowne Kingdomes and great Cities. With a particular Description of all those Kingdomes, Cities, and People: As also, a Relation of their commodities and manner of Traffiqne, and at what seasons of the yeere they are most in use. Faythfully related: With a Discovery of a Great Emperour called the Great Mogoll, a Prince not till now knowne to our English Nation.
London: Printed by I[ohn] N[orton] for Hugh Perry, 1631. Small 4to. (7 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches). [vi], 68,  pp. Printer's colophon leaf in rear. (Title and A4 on stub guards).
Full red morocco by Zaehnsdorf, covers bordered with a gilt triple fillet, spine in six compartments with raised bands, ruled in gilt on either side of each band, lettered in the second compartment, the others with repeat decoration in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges
Provenance: early ink and pencil marginalia throughout
A very rare early account of an overland journey through India and the Middle East.
The author and his men left Plymouth in March 1607 aboard the Ascension and were among the first Englishmen to see the Cape of Good Hope, arriving there in July 1608. Coverte eventually reached Gujarat, where the ship ran aground while approaching Surat. Not granted permission to remain in Surat, the crew departed to various destinations. Coverte and others set out overland for the Moghul Court at Agra via Burhanpur (describing the important military post as larger than London), arriving at Agra in December 1609. Although asked by the emperor Jahangir to serve in his military service, Coverte and other crew members left Agra in January 1610 "with the intention of making their way back to the Levant by the overland route. Travelling by way of Kandahar, Esfahan, and Baghdad, they reached Aleppo in December 1610 and from the coast of the Levant sailed for England. They subsequently arrived home in April 1611" (Howgego).
An absorbing account presented in the form of a travel diary, Penrose described this work as a "vigorous narrative. It relates its author's reception by the Emperor Jahangir, and his ... journey across India, Afghanistan, and Persia, and ... is one of the best examples of a travel journal that the period produced." The work was first published in 1612, with a second edition appearing two years later before the present third edition: all English editions are rare and desirable. Two German translations followed and the account was further published in compilations of discovery and exploration, including those published by De Bry, Hulsius, and van der Aa.
Howgego C211; Penrose, Travel and Discovery in the Renaissance , p. 324; Oaten, European Travellers in India, pp. 158-161; STC 5897.