Memória sobre a prioridade dos descobrimentos portuguezes na costa d'Africa Occidental,... Memória sobre a prioridade dos descobrimentos portuguezes na costa d'Africa Occidental,...

Memória sobre a prioridade dos descobrimentos portuguezes na costa d'Africa Occidental, para servir de illustração a Chronica da Conquista de Guiné por Azurara .

SANTARÉM, Manuel Francisco de Barros e Sousa de Mesquita de Macedo Leitão e Carvalhosa, 2º Visconde de.

Published by Paris, Na Livraria Portugueza de J.P. Aillaud, 1841., 1841
From Richard C. Ramer Old and Rare Books (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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Large 8°, contemporary diced half calf over pebbled cloth boards (some wear at corners), spines with raised bands in five compartments, gilt-lettered short author and title ("Costa d'Africa") in second and third compartments from head of spine; gilt fillets, text block edges marbled, green silk place marker. Woodcut vignette on title page. Scattered light spotting. In very good to fine condition. (2 ll.), 245 pp., (1 l. errata). *** FIRST EDITION. Written at the request of the Portuguese government, the Memória defends Portugal's claim to the territory of Casamance (Guinea), which France was then contesting. Following its initial success, Santarem was asked to translate the Memória into French so as to bolster Portugal's diplomatic interests. The first edition of the French translation, considerably augmented with additional material, was published Paris, 1842 under the title Recherches sur la priorité de la découverte des pays situés sur la côte occidentale d'Afrique. This Portuguese edition is much rarer, since (according to Innocêncio) only 500 copies of it were printed, vs. 1,000 copies of the Recherches. The Memória was serialized in the Diário do Governo, 1842.While writing the Memória, Santarém was concurrently ransacking European archives for early maps and charts that documented the course of European, and particularly Portuguese, exploration. Although not ready for publication with the Memória, twenty-one maps relating particularly to the Casamance dispute were reproduced in fine lithographic reproduction and published in 1842, under the title Atlas composé de cartes des XIVe, XVe, XVIe et XVIIe siècles, as a supplement to the Recherches. Santarem's famous Atlas was later greatly expanded in Paris editions of 1842-1844 and 1849.The second Visconde de Santarém (1791-1856) has been called "the greatest figure in the history of Portuguese cartography" (Cortesão, History of Portuguse Cartography I, 23); in fact, it was Santarem who coined the term "cartographia." He travelled to Brazil with the royal family in 1807 and held various diplomatic posts; he also served as Keeper of the Royal Archives at Torre do Tombo from 1824 until 1833, when he was dismissed for political reasons. Although he spent the rest of his life in Paris, his standing with the Portuguese government later improved to the point that the government funded many of his publications, and appointed him Keeper of the Torre do Tombo without requiring him to return to Portugal.*** Innocêncio V, 436: giving the imprint as Paris, Offic. de Fain & Thunot, 1841 (i.e. taking information from the printer's colophon, not the title page), and calling for 245 pp. + 1 p. errata. Ramos, A edição de língua Portuguesa em França 402 (giving a misleading expression of the collation as viii, 247 pp.; there are actually two unnumbered leaves, the half title and title page, followed by viii preliminary leaves, followed by the main body of text which begins with p. [9]). Azevedo-Samodães 3039: iv, 245 pp., 1 blank, 1 errata, 1 blank. Cortesão, History of Portuguese Cartography I, 14-5. NUC: GU. Bookseller Inventory # 23670

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Memória sobre a prioridade dos ...

Publisher: Paris, Na Livraria Portugueza de J.P. Aillaud, 1841.

Publication Date: 1841

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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