Milano: Dalla Tipografia di Giovanni Silvestri... 1811. ,98,pp., errata leaf, plus two folding sheets comprised of seven maps and a folding plan with three views. Half title. Tall quarto. Original limp paper-covered boards. Boards scuffed and slightly stained, small paper labels on each cover. Previous owner's library bookplate on front pastedown, light occasional foxing. Internally a fine crisp copy. Item #WRCAM54302
The second and best edition of this interesting work. Lada-Mocarski lists this edition rather than the first (Milan, 1810) as the preferable one. It is the supposed narrative of a voyage through the Polar Sea and the Straits of Anian to the west coast of America in 1588, performed by Laurent Ferrer Maldonado. Carlo Amoretti, the librarian of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, believed in the authenticity of the narrative and saw it into print. Skeptics quickly attacked the work, and by the mid-19th century it had been established as spurious by further discovery, but at the time of publication it caused a lively debate and fueled further interest in northwest exploration. The first map, which takes up an entire folding sheet, traces Maldonado's supposed route through the polar region. The other six maps are contained on a single sheet and depict various points in the polar regions. The folding plan contains three topographical views of the Straits of Anian. HOWES F95. LADA-MOCARSKI 66. WICKERSHAM 6644. LANDE 20. SABIN 44109. HILL 597.