Paris: Jean Gesselin, 1627. ,230,pp. Contemporary vellum. Bookplate on front pastedown. Later ownership notations on titlepage. Minor toning and soiling. Very good. Item #WRCAM51634
First augmented French edition, adding considerable material to the first French edition of 1613. This is the first separate appearance of this account of Drake's famous voyage of 1577-80, the second circumnavigation and the first English voyage around the world, translated by F. de Louvencourt, Sieur de Vauchelles, and enlarged from his 1613 edition of Part I only. The text is traditionally attributed to Francis Pretty, though it is more likely that the information was compiled by Richard Hakluyt himself from three or more sources (see Wagner's DRAKE'S VOYAGE). The account of Drake's voyage first appeared in Hakluyt's PRINCIPALL NAVIGATIONS... and was subsequently translated into French (the 1613 edition). Wagner notes that the additional information found in the present edition but not in Hakluyt is "small but significant" and calls this "the most complete translation of all." The second part includes material on the East Indies, the Middle East and Persia, and Africa. "The voyage of Drake extends only to page 82, the second part being devoted to an account of countries which the great English navigator never saw" - Wagner.
Drake's circumnavigation, the second successful voyage around the world (the first being Magellan's expedition), extended British maritime power into the Pacific for the first time, threatened the Spanish empire in America to its heart, opened a new age in British seamanship, and made Drake a rich man. Sailing from Plymouth in December 1577, the expedition reached Patagonia in June 1578, weathered a near mutiny, and saw the second ship, the Elizabeth, turn back during the stormy passage of the Straits of Magellan. Drake sailed on alone in the Golden Hind, raiding Spanish commerce along the Pacific coast of the Americas and culminating his piracy with the seizure of a major treasure galleon. This exploit allowed him to pay a 4,600% dividend to his backers on returning to England. In 1579 he explored northward up the California coast, discovered San Francisco Bay, and went as far north as Vancouver. He then crossed the Pacific, took on a cargo of spices in the East Indies, and went home by the Cape of Good Hope, arriving back at Plymouth in September 1580. It was the most heroic feat of seamanship of the age.
A handsome copy of this important and rare work. EUROPEAN AMERICANA 627/121. SIR FRANCIS DRAKE AS SEEN BY HIS CONTEMPORARIES, p.67. WAGNER, SPANISH SOUTHWEST 9c. PALAU 76151. BRUNET II, 831. SABIN 20845.