First edition, 1617 An Itinerary Written by Fynes Moryson. Maps. Details of Europe and Jerusalem in the late 16th century.


First edition, 1617, An Itinerary Written by Fynes Moryson, documenting his ten years travels (Jerusalem, Rome, Constantinople, Venice, etc.), including rudimentary maps.

This copy seems to have a facsimile 1st title page (there are two title pages) and isn't in perfect condition (see description below); most copies are offered from $3-4,000 USD but I'll offer this copy at a discount due to condition. Use Vialibri to double check my price vs the others on the market (Vialibri acts as an aggregator of book prices, like Priceline does for flights).

About This Work -

In 1617, Moryson published the first three volumes of An Itinerary: Containing His Ten Years Travel Through the Twelve Dominions of Germany, Bohemia, Switzerland, Netherland, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Turkey, France, England, Scotland and Ireland. The Itinerary was originally intended to consist of four or five volumes. Only three volumes were published in his lifetime, breaking off in the middle of an exposé. Moryson had to translate his texts from Latin to find a larger audience. A fourth volume, continuing the previous argument but written in English from the outset was licensed for the press in 1626. Apparently, it was never printed, and is preserved in manuscript in the library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

The volumes I and III of Moryson's Itinerary primarily cover Continental Europe and secondarily the Ottoman lands, with volume I being travel narratives from 1591 to 1598 and volumes III forming a thematic "Discourse of Travelling" covering themes of geography, customs, fashion, religion and political institutions. Volume II, on the other hand, is devoted to rebellious movements in Ireland from 1599 to 1603.

An interesting aside, this book has the first printed mention of a "Merry Christmas"; not a particularly happy note about an Irish home being taken over by an English Lord just in time that the Englishman could celebrate a "Merry Christmas" in the other's home, enjoying the Irishman's provisions. This note is found on page 87.

About the Author -

MORYSON, FYNES (1566–1630), English traveler and writer, was the son of a Lincolnshire gentleman, Thomas Moryson, member of parliament for Grimsby., After being educated at Cambridge, where he gained a fellowship at Peterhouse, Fynes Moryson spent many years in travel on the continent of Europe, in Palestine, and in Asia Minor.

About the Provenance -

In the 19th century it was in Hereford, at the Pengethley Manor, when it was owned by the Symonds family (Symonds Pengethly bookplate).

In the 20th century, bibliophile and author James Stevens Cox added his bookplate.

There is a note on a label that refers to a name that's not found in the book; perhaps it was on the, now facsimile, title page.

Bibliographic Details -

Universal Short Title Catalogue reference number 3007471.

English Short Title Catalogue reference number S115249.

Breakdown of the Maps -

List of maps and the leaf they're found on:

G2 - Venice, K1 - Naples, L1 - Rome, O5 - Genoa, Q5 - Paris, T2 - Jerusalem, V1 - Church of the Holy Sepulchre Jerusalem, Y4 - Constantinople

One catalogue listed the Aa3 English Scottish Coynes as a plate... but it seems like text to me.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 32 x 22 x 6 cm., folio signed in six. Leather binding. Spine with five raised bands; one compartment with the title in gilt on red morocco. The text block edges are marbled. There are some woodcut maps within the text, headpieces, tailpieces, and initials.

Pages - Blank leaf missing, Pi2 leaf facsimile, Pi3-8 leaves (no numbering), 1-295, (1), 301, (1), 292

Collation - Blank leaf missing, Pi2 leaf facsimile, Pi3-8 leaves, A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, Aaa-Zzz6, Aaaa-Eeee6. Several leaves mis-signed (A3 signed B3, etc.).

References have some notion of a blank leaf at the rear, but that would make no sense because page 292 (recto) is signed Eeee6, and there wouldn't have been a 7. While there was a blank leaf at the start of the book, I do not think there should be one called for at the end.

Condition -

Note - 1st title page seems to be in facsimile (wove paper).

Older respine to binding, still front joint starting to crack. Leather worn, rubbed, edge and corner wear to binding. Darkened with dust top-edge of text block. Hinges with some cracking. Front endpapers with manuscript ex libris and bookseller marks, two bookplates and one descriptive label that seems to be for a catalogue regarding a different copy (note of a name on title page that isn't there).

Missing blank first leaf and 1st title page seems to be facsimile. 2nd title page with ink marks, page edge repair, some rust spots, candle ember spots, ink spots, thumbing, a few creases, etc. Text block throughout the book has some toning, occasional rust spots, thumbing, occasional dog-eared corner, etc. Occasional moisture (round 2" mark) at bottom edge margin. Pi4 leaf again with some ink marks, letters, etc near edges. Several small worm holes in the bottom margin. 1" ink mark B6. Occasional page-edge tear from rough turning. 3" tear from bottom Ff2. 1" stain Oo2. Pp2-3 1" stain bttm margin. 1" chip bttm Qq1. 5" tear from bottom Ss5. Ppp4 with ink stains at bottom margin. Ppp5 with 6" tear from bottom edge and (rust?) mark. Qqq3 with 3" tear from bottom edge, mostly marginal. Sss2-3 with significant ink smudge that you can read the text through. Several annotations on Zzz4. Several annotations Cccc1. Marginal moisture marks at last two gatherings.

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