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Coryats crudities; hastily gobled vp in five moneths trauells in France, Sauoy, Italy, Rhetia co[m]monly called the Grisons country, Heluetia aliàs Switzerland, some parts of high Germany, and the Netherlands; newly digested in the hungry aire of Odcombe in the county of Somerset, & now dispersed to the nourishment of the trauelling members of this kingdome

Coryate, Thomas (1577-1617)

Published by printed by William Stansby for the author,, London:, 1611
From Liber Antiquus Early Books & Manuscripts (Chevy Chase, MD, U.S.A.)

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Quarto: ?1 (engraved title page), ?1 (printed title), a3, b4, ?1(woodcut arms), a4-8, b8, c-g8, h-l4, B-C8, D1, (+D1-3), D2-8, E-Z8; Aa-Zz8; Aaa-Ccc8, Ddd4, [Eee]1, signed "Eee3", [Fff]1 (unsigned). First Edition of Coryate?s Bizarre Travelogue. A Fascinating Account of An Adenturer in Europe Provenance: Thomas Abdy (first Baronet, 1612-1686, signature on front flyleaf dated 6 December 1677, with further signatures of Christopher & Anthony Abdy) ? Arthur M. Brown (gilt-stamped leather bookplate) ? William J.K. Vanston (Parke-Bernet, 24 February 1959, lot 145).First edition of one of the earliest travelogues in English, written by Thomas Coryate (1577-1617), one of the great English eccentrics and travellers. ?Coryate joined the household of Henry, Prince of Wales. Driven by curiosity he sailed from Dover in 1608 and arrived soon in Paris, 'which he found even filthier and smellier than London. At Fontainebleau he was befriended by members of Henri IV's garde écossaise and saw more of the royal household than would normally have been permitted to chance visitors. He journeyed on to Lyons, through Savoy to Turin, Milan, Mantua, and Padua. His description of how Italians shielded themselves from the sun resulted in apparently the first mention of "umbrella" in English literature. Table forks, almost unknown in England, were in general use in Italy; Coryate acquired one, imitated the Italian fashion of eating and continued to do so frequently when he came home . Arriving in Venice on 24 June 1608 Coryate presented two letters of introduction to the English ambassador, Sir Henry Wotton, who, perhaps impressed by the letter which mentioned that Coryate was remotely related to the earl of Essex, did him many kindnesses. These included rescuing him in the ambassadorial gondola from a threatening crowd of Jews who objected to Coryate preaching Christianity to their rabbi. Later he was to risk reprisals for antipathy to Roman Catholic rites and, during his Eastern travels, for proclaiming against Islam. After six weeks of intensive quest and recording of information, he left Venice on 7 August by boat to Padua, then walked to Vicenza, Verona, and Bergamo. Coryate arrived in Zürich by boat and reached Basel on foot at the end of August. While in Switzerland he heard the story of William Tell. Coryate's admirable rendering appears to be the earliest in English. Arriving in Strasbourg by boat he then got lost, alone and on foot, in the Black Forest, but the sole threat of armed violence experienced in Europe was from a German peasant, who resented Coryate picking grapes from a vineyard. He was hospitably received in Heidelberg and walked to Mainz. After a detour to visit Frankfurt's fair he sailed down the Rhine, with a brief stop at Cologne, and continued by water down what was the temporary truce line between the armies of Spain and the United Provinces. After calling on the English merchants established at Middelburg he was entertained by the English garrison at Flushing. Thence he embarked on 1 October and landed in London on 3 October 1608. With the rector's permission Coryate hung his shoes in Odcombe church. Coryate drew on his experiences in writing Coryats Crudities (1611), which was intended to encourage courtiers and gallants to enrich their minds by continental travel. It contains illustrations, historical data, architectural descriptions, local customs, prices, exchange rates, and food and drink, but is too diffuse and bulky - there are 864 pages in the 1905 edition - to become a vade-mecum. To solicit "panegyric verses" Coryate circulated copies of the title-page depicting his adventures and his portrait, which had been engraved by William Hole and which he considered a good likeness. About sixty contributors include many illustrious authors, not all in verse, some insulting, some pseudonymous. Prince Henry accepted the dedication but insisted that all were published' (Oxford DNB). "There probably has never been another such. Bookseller Inventory # 3099D

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Coryats crudities; hastily gobled vp in five...

Publisher: printed by William Stansby for the author,, London:

Publication Date: 1611

Binding: Hardcover


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