BERGERON Pierre. (with) BERGERON Pierre. BONTIER, Pierre. LE VERRIER Jean.

BERGERON Pierre. (with) BERGERON Pierre. BONTIER, Pierre. LE VERRIER Jean. Traicté de la navigation et des voyages de descouvertes & conquestes modernes & principalement des François… (with) Histoire de la première découverte et conqueste des Canaries. Faite des l\\\\\\\'an 1402 par Messire Jean de Bethencourt

Paris, J. de Heuqueville ; M. Soly, 1629 (with), Paris, Michel Soly, 1630.


2 volumes, 8vo. Vol. 1) pp. [x] 303 [i]: ¶5, (lacking ¶6 blank), A-Tt8. Vol. 2) pp. [xx] 208 [xii]: ã8, ē2, A-N8, O6. Roman letter some Italic. Woodcut initials and typographical ornaments, the second work with fine portrait of Bethencourt engraved by Balthasar Moncornet on p 4. Light age yellowing, rare mark or spot, scattered worm holes becoming trails in the second volume over 12 leaves, and at the end of volume 1, all expertly restored, just touching a few letters. Good copies in mottled calf, circa 1700, covers bordered with a single blind rule, arms of Louis Urbain Le Fèvre de Caumartin [1653-1720] gilt stamped at centres, re- backed, spine remounted, richly gilt, original red morocco label, edges with gilt roll, a.e.g., some corners worn

Rare first editions of both these important works, one of the first major French editions on the history of maritime exploration; printed separately but designed to be together. Soly reprinted the first work in 1630 so it could be re-issued with the first edition of the second work (ustc records both the 1630 editions under the same reference). “One of the first studies of the history of navigation to be undertaken in France” Borba. “An Americanum of prime importance” Lande. Bergeron’s Traicté is a comprehensive history of French exploration with additional accounts of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian and British expeditions. There is much detail on the voyages to New France undertaken by Sieur de Mont, Lescarbot, Poutrincourt, Champlain, Cartier, Alfonce, François Pyrard, Jean Mocquet, Vincent Le Blanc and others. It includes accounts of the attempted Huguenot settlement of Florida by Jean Ribault (particularly the massacre of the French Huguenots by the Spanish in Florida) and French exploration in Brazil. The chapters on Canada give detail on the native tribes (including polygamy), missionary efforts, and territorial claims up to 1627. Bergeron, following in his father’s footsteps, became a lawyer at the Parliament of Paris and then councillor to the king and to the chancellery of the Parliament of Paris. “Pierre Bergeron (1580?–1637?), (was) a French polygraph, eulogist, historian of French colonisation, editor of medieval travel narratives, and rewriter of testimonies by contemporary French travellers to the East .. Bergeron tried to disappear behind the travellers he gave a voice to, and therefore refused to appear as the author of these narratives … As a conseiller and a go-between with booksellers and men of letters, Bergeron was in close contact with the Parisian publishing world. .. Bergeron’s fidelity to the monarchy and his anti-Spanish politics lay at the centre of his work as a colonisation propagandist and historian. His Traité de la navigation appeared three years after the 1626 assemblé of the Notables. .. Bergeron attacked the papal pretensions to divide the world, but went further, as he was the first to introduce in France Grotius’s argument of the freedom of the seas, which he used to advocate a French expansionist discourse. The treaty was followed by an edition of a manuscript of Bethencourt’s conquest of the Canary Islands, transformed into a French Christopher Columbus, in order to give France a certain historical primacy.” Nicolas Médevielle. Bergeron, after finishing this treatise, was commissioned by Galen de Béthencourt with editing the celebrated travel memoirs of his great-grandfather Jean de Béthencourt. This description of the French conquest of the Canaries, the first chapter in modern colonial history, was based upon the manuscript “Le Canarien”, an authority of exceptional value for the history of the conquest, not only a contemporary witness, but written by men who were present at, and took part in the events and recorded them with a wealth of life-like and picturesque detail. This is its first appearance in print. Bergeron seems to have worked from the Mont Ruffet manuscript of c. 1482. His motivation for publishing was undoubtedly to encourage a sense of French pride in their conquests in the hope of further expeditions.

With excellent provenance: from the important library of Louis Urbain Le Fèvre de Caumartin, “Le Grand Caumartin”, finance minister at the end of Louis XIV’s reign. He was an early protector of Voltaire. He amassed a very fine library at his Chateau de St. Ange with well over three thousand books.

USTC 6021801. USTC 6023764. Borba de Moraes I:87. Alden 630/32, 630/33; JCB II:219-220 & II:227. Lande Supplement S2224. Palau 32885. Sabin 32016 (4850, 5073). Not in JFB.
Stock Number: L3822/1/2 Categories: , , , , ,