CHURCHILL, Awnsham and John; and Thomas OSBORNE
A Collection of Voyages and Travels, some now first printed from original manuscripts, others now first published in English. In Six Volumes ... The Third Edition ... [Uniformly bound with:] A Collection of Voyages and Travels ... Compiled from the curious and valuable Library of the late Earl of Oxford
London: by assignment by Messrs. Churchill for Henry Lintot and John Osborn (vols.I-VI); Thomas Osborne (vols.VII-VIII), 1744 (vols. 1-2); 1744 (vols. 3-4); 1746 (vols. 5-6); 1747 (vols. 7-8). 8 volumes, folio. (13 7/8 x 8 7/8 inches). Title to vol.I printed in red and black, text in two columns. 284 engraved maps and plates (19 folding, 125 double-page) by Kip, Moll and others, 1 folding letterpress table, 10 engraved illustrations, 62 wood-cut illustrations. Scattered minor foxing, minor worming at front of vol. 7.
Contemporary calf, expertly rebacked retaining the original morocco lettering pieces, spines with raised bands in seven compartments, ruled in gilt on either side of each band
Provenance: Henry Seymer, Hanford, Dorset (armorial bookplate)
A fine set of the third and best edition of this "very valuable collection, both for its range of coverage and for the fact that it gives original accounts'' (Hill): complete with the Osborne continuation.
Among the most important 18th century collections of voyages, including a number of accounts appearing here for the first time, or at least for the first time in English. The contents include seminal works on China, North and South America, Africa, Russia, Greenland, Japan, the northwest passage and more. Importantly, this set includes the first editions of the rare supplementary volumes, known as the "Harleian Voyages", compiled from Lord Oxford's library by Thomas Osborne and issued as volumes VII and VIII of the set. According to Sabin these are a "necessary accompaniment" although sets are generally found on the market in six volumes only. This combination of the third edition of Churchill's Voyages with Osborne's extension "is considered to be the best because of its greater inclusiveness and its copious index" (Hill).
Sabin notes that in the first six volumes the "account of the books of voyages and travels" is brought up to date, and that "Many of the books in this collection have not appeared elsewhere in English". The better-known travellers whose works are printed here include: Baldaeus, Drake, Nieuhoff, John Smith, Columbus, Gemelli-Careri and Herrera.
Cf. Borba de Moraes, pp. 1815; Hill (2004) 295; NMM 33; Sabin 13017 & 57765.