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New Voyages to North-America. Containing An Account of the several Nations of that vast Continent. A Geographical Description of Canada.

LAHONTAN, Louis Armand, Baron de (1666-1715).

Published by London: John Brindley, and Charles Corbett, 1735., 1735
From Arader Galleries - Aradernyc (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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2 volumes, 8vo (7 6/8 x 5 inches). Fine engraved frontispiece map of Lake Huron in volume one, two folding maps of "Long River" and New France, single leaf map of Newfoundland, 16 plates, including 8 folding. Contemporary speckled calf (rebacked to style). Provenance: 18th-century engraved arms with motto "Tempus edax rerum" on the verso of each paste-down; with the small library label of Wolfgang A. Herz, on the front pastedown, his sale "Important Voyages and Travels", 9th December 2009, lot 229. Second edition in English, Brindley issue, with a new map of Newfoundland and corrected plates: "To the translation of my first volume, I have added an exact map of Newfound-land, . I have likewise corrected almost all the cuts of the Holland Impression, for the Dutch Gravers had murder'd em, by not understanding their Explications, which were all in French. They have grav'd Women for Men, and Men for Women; naked Persons for those that are cloath'd." (Lahontan "Preface"). Lahontan came to New France in 1683 as captain of a regiment which he led in expeditions against the Iroquois: "Between the fifteenth and sixteenth year of my Age I went to Canada, and there took care to keep up a constant Correspondence by Letters with an old Relation Tis these very letters that make the greatest part of the first Volume. They contain an account of all that pass'd between the English, the French, the Iroquese, and the other Savage Nations, from the year 1683 to 1694" (Lahontan "Preface" to English edition). Lahontan journeyed west in 1687 with Duluth and was given command of Fort St. Joseph on the St. Clair River. In 1688 he travelled further west by the Fox-Wisconsin portage and reached the upper Mississippi. In all Lahontan spent twenty years in the colony fighting the Iroquois and his work is considered "one of the best early works on the subject" (Streeter Sale). During the decade he had spent in North America, Lahontan "had not lacked opportunities to distinguish himself. He had taken part in two campaigns against the Iroquois, had twice been besieged by the English, had visited almost all parts of New France and may well have reached the Mississippi at a time when few Frenchmen had seen it. But he appears to have made little mark; except during his final months at Placentia, the official correspondence of the time scarcely mentions him But while serving and travelling in New France he had done something few of his fellow officers thought to do: "In the course of my Voyages and Travels, I took care to keep particular Journals of every thing . . . ," sometimes even making notes on birch-bark. From these diaries he was able later to compose the three books which were to make him, next to Louis Hennepin, the most widely read author on North America in the first half of the 18th century. "Lahontan's works appeared at a time when travel narratives were enjoying an extraordinary vogue in Europe and when interest in North America, aroused by the 'Jesuit Relations' and whetted by the voyages of Hennepin and Henri Tonty, was greater than ever before. "His 'Nouveaux voyages dans l'Amérique septentrionale' and their sequel, 'Mémoires de septentrionale', were published in January 1703 at The Hague and were twice pirated within a few months. A third volume, entitled 'Supplément aux voyage' containing dialogues possibly written in collaboration in England, appeared later in 1703 in both English and French, the two earlier volumes having meantime been translated into English. "Lahontan's three volumes embraced a wide variety of subject-matter. The 'Nouveaux voyages . . .' recounted in the then popular epistolary form his ten years in New France; midway through the narrative a letter four or five times as long as the rest told a fanciful tale of his imaginary voyage up the Long River. The 'Mémoires' provided a lively geographical account of New France, followed by an anthropological study of its Indian inhabitants and completed by a linguistic commentary. Bookseller Inventory # 002536

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Bibliographic Details

Title: New Voyages to North-America. Containing An ...

Publisher: London: John Brindley, and Charles Corbett, 1735.

Publication Date: 1735

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