A relation of a iourney begun an: Dom: 1610. Foure bookes. Containing a description of the Turkish Empire, of Ægypt, of the Holy Land, of the remote parts of Italy, and ilands adioyning

London, Printed [by Thomas Cotes] for Ro: Allot, 1627

£2,750

Folio pp. (iv) 309 (i), two fldg. engraved plates, without last blank. Mostly Roman letter, some Italic. Fine engraved architectural title by Delaram depicting Isis, the Sibyl and ‘Achmet’, Truth and Constance above, the Cumaean Sibyl below, double full page map of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East, smaller double-page engraved view of the sultan’s seraglio, 46 fine illustrations of places and costumes engraved in text, many after Natale Bonifacio, variant issue without the engraving, often missed, intended to fill a blank spot left on D4v. General light age-yellowing, double page view with two small tears, the occasional mark or spot. A very good copy in early C20th half calf over early marbled paper boards, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, gilt fleurons, red morocco label gilt, a.e.g.

Third edition of the story of Sandys’ great journey throughout 1610 through north Italy, Venice, Turkey, Egypt, the Greek Islands and Palestine; George Sandy’s Relation is one of the most interesting and important travel books of the English Renaissance. He was an observant traveller as well as an able writer and the work was immediately popular, as well as regarded as authoritative. Izaak Walton noticed in his ‘Compleat Angler’ (pt. i, ch. i) Sandys’ account of the pigeon courier service between Aleppo and Babylon, and Milton derived hints for his ‘Ode on the Passion’ (st. viii) from Sandys’ ‘Hymn to my Redeemer’ composed on visiting the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. One of the works responsible for reviving English interest in the ‘Near East’, it is still important for its references to contemporary customs and commerce and its contribution to the geography and ethnology of the area (see J.F.B. S90 of 1st ed.). Its faithful engravings of maps, views, costumes and antiquities doubtless contributed to the work’s wide popularity.

“Sandys was a perceptive observer of other peoples and cultures, noting details from everyday life as well as those of more obvious importance, and he was able to move easily from one to the other in his writing. He comments on the significance of the crocodile in Egyptian cultural and religious life, as well as recognising the achievements of Egyptian civilisation. Sandys account of the Jews is notably sympathetic to their plight and the anti-semitic prejudice they have suffered, and he includes comments on Jewish women (again, sympathetic in the main.)”. Andrew Hadfield. ‘Amazons, Savages, and Machiavels: Travel and Colonial Writing in English. 1550 -1630.’

Sandys was also deeply interested in America. He was one of the undertakers named in the third charter of the Virginia company and later treasurer and member of its Council. His celebrated translation of Ovid was actually completed in America.”These travels written in a pleasant style are distinguished by erudition, sagacity and a love of truth” Lowndes.

L2382