This Month’s New Catalogues:<br>Travels, Americana, and More
By Mike Stillman
This month we review four new booksellers’ catalogues. They are an outstanding group. Helen Kahn gives us “Voyages and Travels,” William Reese the USA oriented “National Pride,” Almagre Books “Americana,” and Oak Knoll Books their milestone “Catalogue 250.”
Helen Kahn’s catalogue, entitled “Voyages and Travels” (Catalogue 63), is filled with intriguing and important titles. Ms. Kahn is located in Montreal, so it’s not surprising that there are many Canadian related items in the catalogue. However, no one area has a monopoly on this collection. Most of these travels and voyages start from Europe and they go to the four corners of this round world.
Those who collect attempts to find the Northwest Passage must have this catalogue. There are too many titles related to these voyages to describe them all here. Instead, we’ll mention a few others.
Item #1 is A Briefe Description of the Whole Worlde. Written by George Abbot, Archbishop of Canturbury, it is a significant item of European Americana. Included within the “whole worlde” are descriptions of Florida, the Jamestown colony in Virginia, New France and Spanish territories in the new world. This copy is a third edition printed in 1608, three years after the first. Priced at $3,150.
Item 2, The Narrative of Robert Adams, A Sailor…by Adams himself is a reversal of the norm. Adams, a sailor from Hudson, New York, was shipwrecked off the African coast. He was captured and held in slavery for three years in Africa. He eventually had his freedom purchased by a British consul and moved on to London where he retold his adventures. Adams may have been only the second or third westerner to visit Timbuctoo. This is a first edition printed in 1816. $1,965.
Item 14 by William Bligh, better known as Captain, is A Narrative of the Mutiny, on board His Majesty’s Ship Bounty; and the subsequent voyage of part of the crew, in the Ship’s Boat… This is the harrowing story of how Bligh and his eighteen loyal crewmen, set adrift in a small boat after the famous mutiny, survived. First edition from 1790. $14,975.