PSALMANAAZAAR, George. An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa, an Island Subject to the Emperor of Japan… By George Psalmanaazaar, a Native of the Said Land, now in London. London: Dan Brown et al., 1704. Octavo, modern full brown speckled calf, raised bands, red morocco spine label. $2500.First edition of one of the most notorious and successful publishing hoaxes, with 15 plates (two folding).Psalmanaazaar (actually a Frenchman whose real name was never discovered) originally presented himself in Europe as a Japanese. After teaming up with William Innes, he began presenting himself as a native of Formosa. "To improve his position, Psalmanaazaar, at Innes s instigation, prepared a full account of what he alleged to be his early life and experiences… It was completed in two months, and was issued before the end of 1704, with a dedication to Bishop Compton, as An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa, an Island subject to the Emperor of Japan. There was prefixed a long introduction, describing his reception in England, his travels, and his conversion to Protestantism. He seized every opportunity of abusing the Jesuits, a policy which commended the work to English churchmen. In a later section the language, dress, religious beliefs, and political constitution of Formosa were set forth in detail… the book met with much success." When his mentor Innes abandoned him to become chaplain-general to the English forces in Portugal, Psalmanaazaar was unable to continue the imposture, and gradually lost credibility. By 1708, he was widely ridiculed in the press. Ex-library, with ink- and blind-stamps on the title page and dedication page.Occasional light foxing, neat paper repair to folding plate of Formosan alphabet. Attractive binding fine. Bookseller Inventory # 55047
Title: Historical and Geographical Description of ...
Publication Date: 1704
Edition: First Edition.
Book Description Robert Holden, 1926. Paperback. Condition: Good. First edition without jacket on blue spotted cloth uncut end papersex libris edition with usual markings will send out 1 st class post - rare and collectable. Seller Inventory # mon0000027457
Book Description London Robert Holden & Co. Ltd., 1926. 24,5x16 cm. XLVIII, 288 S. Mit 16 Tafeln. Originalhalbpergament mit goldgeprägtem Rückentitel. "The Library of Impostors - Volume II. Edited by N.M. Penzer." - No. 31/750 numerierten Exemplaren für England und die USA. - Rücken am Kopf und an der Stehkante bestossen. - Innen sehr sauberes, stellenweise unaufgeschnittenes Exemplar. Sprache: englisch. Seller Inventory # 54592AB
Book Description London 1926, Holden. Vellum spine over yellow cloth, 288p., appendix, 16 photogravures, top gilt. Exact reprint of the London 1704 edition. R A R E LIMITED NUMBERED EDITION OF 750 COPIES Psalmanaazaar was a famous literary imposter & this literary hoax is truly enjoyable to read. It's rather like science fiction ! One look at the chart of Chinese characters is a delight. These have no resemblance what so ever. * SUBTITLE continued: "His Travels, Particularly his Conferences with the Jesuits, and Others.to Which is Prefix'd a Preface in Vindication of Himself from the Reflections of a Jesuit Lately Come from China, with an Account of What Passed Between Them." Although this is a fictional hoax, it was based on actual accounts of early Jesuits & other foreign visitors to China & Formosa. * BIBLIOGRAPHY: Cox II p.476. * Scans can be sent by email. Seller Inventory # 84055004
Book Description Dan. Brown, et al., London, 1704. First Edition. 8vo, 327pp.; VG-; paneled brown spine; bound in contemporary calf, rebacked; 15 of 16 engraved plates, missing the folding engraved Formosan alphabet; some shelfwear and bumping; some pen markings on title page, minor age markings throughout, else text clean; GP consignment; shelve case 7. Shelved Dupont Bookstore. Seller Inventory # 9-40-1259929