CHAMPLAIN, Samuel de (1567-1635)
Les Voyages de la Nouvelle France Occidentale, dicte Canada, Faits par le Sr. de Champlain
Paris: chez Claude Collet au mont sainct Hilaire, prés le Puits Certain, 1640. 4to. 16pp. introduction, 308,310,[blank leaf],,54pp. With the large folding map, and additionally the Duval map, bound into this copy. A very fine copy in original condition.
Contemporary vellum. Housed in a dark blue morocco box.
The final and rarest edition of Champlain, with both major Champlain maps.
This is the final, and perhaps the rarest, edition of Champlain's works, with the most important texts relating to the discovery and early exploration of New France. The text of the work is the same as that of the 1632 collected edition, except for the new titlepage, completely reset, and with a differing date and imprint for the printer. This copy is also notable for containing not only the 1632 Champlain map, which should normally accompany it, but also having a version of the 1616 Champlain map, the great explorer's other major cartographic achievement.
Textually, this is the most important edition of Champlain. According to Church, "Of all the editions of Champlain, this is the only complete one...." The first part contains abridged accounts of the first six voyages of Champlain, through 1613 (those covered in the volume published that year), and a full account of the seventh voyage of 1615-17, with a brief note about the eighth. The second part contains a full account of the ninth voyage and a history of Canada for the period, 1620-31. The latter material appears herein for the first time, and the treatise on navigation makes its first appearance here. Champlain's work stands alone as a full, accurate, detailed account of New France in the first three decades of the 17th century, and as a historical and ethnological source is unrivalled. This excellence extends to the illustrations. The six engravings which appear in this edition, identical to those which illustrated the 1619 Champlain, are some of the most accurate illustrations of Indians to appear before the 19th century.
The map accompanying the volume can be considered the summation of all of Champlain's explorations from a cartographic point of view. It can be considered to be the first to show the entire Great Lakes network, and extends further, both west and south, than his earlier efforts. It is by far the most important and comprehensive map of Canada up to that point, and the basis for many later maps.
This copy also contains the so-called "Duval" map, Le Canada Facit par le Sr. Champlain. ... This is actually printed from the same plate as Champlain's 1616 map and essentially is that map with later additions and alterations. This map was created by map-maker Pierre Duval, who evidently came into the possession of the copper printing plate for Champlain's 1616 map, his last before the map that normally accompanies the 1632 and 1640 editions of Les Voyages . Duval then made numerous alterations to the plate, adding much more nomenclature and a new title cartouche. Subsequently, more alterations were made to the plate, so that Burden notes six states in all. This is the fifth state, issued about 1670, with the addition of an otherwise unknown Arctic route of 1665, and Boston identified.
A superb copy of one of the great Champlain rarities, with both the 1632 map and the Duval version of the 1616 Champlain map.
Burden 237, 309; Church 446; European Americana 640/644; Harrisse, Nouvelle France 72; JCB (3)II:280; Sabin 11840.