The Travels of the Abbe Carre in India and the Near East 1672-1674

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Author: Carre de Chambon, Barthelemy (1640?- )

Year: 1947-48

Publisher: Hakluyt Society

Place: London


3 volumes: lvi+316 pages with frontispiece, 3 folding maps and 1 illustration; xxiv+[317]-676 pages with 3 folding maps and 1 illustration; xxiii+[677]-984 pages with frontispiece, 3 folding maps, 2 illustrations and index. Octavo (9" x 6") issued in original publisher's blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine and pictorial representation of the ship Victoria on covers. Volume 1: 1672 to 1674/Translated from the manuscript journal of his travels in the India Office by Lady Fawcett, and Edited by Sir Charles Fawcett with the assistance of Sir Richard Burn/Volume One/From France through Syria, Iraq and the Persian Gulf to Surat, Goa, and Bijapur, with an account of his grave illness. Volume 2: From Bijapur to Madras and St Thome. Account of the capture of Trincomalee Bay and St Thome by De la Haye, and of the siege of St Thome by the Golconda army and hostilities with the Dutch. Volume 3: Return Journey to France/with an account of the Sicilian revolt against Spanish rule at Messina. Works issued by the Hakluyt Society, Second Series, Numbers 95, 96 and 97. First editions.

A valuable addition to the history of India in the late seventeenth century is made by these three volumes of the journal of Abbe Carre. The manuscript had by lying, not unknown but unexploited, in the India Office library for more than a century; and nobody had taken much trouble to find out anything about the author. Carre took holy orders and while still a young man employed by Colbert, the famous minister of Louis XIV, as an envoy to the East. The mission which he records in these volumes was ostensibly to carry dispatches to General Blanquet de la Haye who was in command of a squadron sent to Indian waters to support the recently started French trade in India and possibly to drive the Dutch from Ceylon. He was not exactly a Kings Messenger in the accepted sense of that term because it was evidently his business to see what the French East Indian Company was doing and to report to Colbert on its affairs; and the circumstances of the time, when France and England were allied against Holland, and the French had captured the fort of St Thome south of Madras, led to his being unexpectedly employed in Madras on behalf of his fellow countrymen who were besieged in St Thome. He had therefore plenty of material for his journal. (The Geographical Journal, vol 113: pg 109)


Volume one water damage to edges, corners bumped, volumes two and three pages uncut, internally very good.

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