The Hague: Charles Delo, 1706. Two volumes. ,376; ,5-336,pp., plus twenty- seven plates (most folding, and including one large folding map, "Carte Que Les Gnacsitares...Carte de la Riviere Longue..."). 12mo. Contemporary speckled calf, neatly rebacked, spine gilt, leather labels. Minor edge wear. Bookplate on each pastedown, light occasional foxing, large folding map bound upside down. Very good. Item #WRCAM48987
Second edition of Lahontan's narrative, a curious blending of fact and fantasy. His account of his travels in the Great Lakes region is one of the most important travel narratives of the day, but his claims to have journeyed west of the Mississippi are highly doubtful. However, his assertions had great impact on geographers of the time, who adopted much of his imaginary geography. The most notable map is the "Carte Que Les Gnacsitares...Carte de la Riviere Longue...," depicting an imaginary river extending westward from Lake Superior. The "Carte Generale de Canada," the frontispiece in the second volume, is also considerably confused geographically. The second volume also contains the "Dictionaire de la Langue des Sauvages." The work remains a classic voyage, even if partially imaginary, written by a man "of more than ordinary learning and intelligence" - Sabin. Regarding this edition Sabin writes: "[t]he alteration is mainly in the 'Dialogues' which are rewritten; the voyages to Portugal and Denmark are omitted, and the whole work is thus brought into two volumes." "Although much of the work has been condemned as over- imaginative, it did influence the subsequent growth of primitivism in France and England, as reflected in the works of Montesquieu, Voltaire, Jonathan Swift, and others. For example, he tells of a tribe which he calls Essanapes, who worshiped the sun, the moon, and the stars. Beyond the Essanapes lived the Gnascitares, who lived on the shore of a great lake, and upon this lake were canoes rowed by 200 oarsmen. They had buildings three storeys high and fought battles with the Spaniards in New Mexico. The great king of this country lived in a royal palace waited upon by hundreds of servants. To add weight to this account Lahontan actually drew a map of the region, now located within the boundaries of Nebraska and South Dakota" - Howgego. HOWES L25, "aa." SABIN 38641, 38642. PILLING, PROOF-SHEETS 2178. WHEAT TRANSMISSISSIPPI 90. GREENLY, MICHIGAN 9. EUROPEAN AMERICANA 706/148. HOWGEGO L54.