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    Acosta's Popular History of the East and West Indies, from the Library of Sir William Pepperell, the Hero of Louisbourg

    Joseph Acosta. The Naturall and Morall Histories of the East and West Indies. Written in Spanish by Joseph Acosta and Translated into English by E. G. London: V. Sims for E. Blount and W. Aspley, 1604.

    First edition in English (translation attributed to Edward Grimston). Octavo. (Approximately 7.25 x 5.25 inches). [2], 590, [8] pages.

    Contemporary calf, covers ruled in gilt with gilt floral cornerpieces and gilt central armorial stamp (featuring a knight's helm and Noah's Ark), spine tooled and ruled in gilt in compartments, burgundy gilt morocco lettering label, five raised bands. Rebacked, retaining the original spine, some wear to boards, and spine. Title-page supplied or possibly re-inserted, lacking the front and rear blanks, also lacking three leaves of the Table at the end, top margins a bit close, the final two leaves present have paper repairs to top edges, ink marginal notes and markings, some slight toning and soiling to text. With the bookplates of Thomas Waterman (dated "Boston 28 Jany. 1857") and Sir William Pepperell. A good copy with an excellent provenance.

    Acosta was a missionary in Peru from 1571 to 1576. He then emigrated to Mexico, where he wrote this book. "Acosta's official duties obliged him to personally investigate a very extensive range of territory, providing him with a practical knowledge of the province, and its aboriginal inhabitants. While in Peru he was instrumental in the establishment of the first printing press, and in 1585 oversaw its first productions" (Hogwego). This popular work showed the world the enormous amount of wealth Spain was reaping from the New World. The publication of this English language edition occurred at the same time that the Treaty of London was signed, ending two decades of hostility between England and Spain.

    Sir William Pepperell, 1st Baronet (1696-1759) was a colonial merchant and soldier, best remembered for organizing , financing and leading the 1745 expedition that captured the French fortress Louisbourg during King George's War.

    Arents Tobacco 67, Church 328, Hill p. 3 ("His work opened the eyes of the rest of Europe to the great wealth that Spain was drawing from America. Eventually Spain grew more secretive in these matters"); Hogwego A7, JCB (3) II:24, Sabin 131, STC 94.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
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