Travels through the Interior Parts of America, In a Series of Letters. By an Officer

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Author: Thomas Anburey

Year: 1791

Publisher: William Lane

Place: London


Description:

2 volumes.  xii+414 pages with frontispiece folding map with hand-colored routes and five plates with four folding; [4]+492 pages with tables and one folding plate.  octavos (8 1/4" x 5 1/4") bound contemporary tree calf with black and red labels to spine in gilt lettering. (Howes calls for 7 plates, apparently in error; the plate list calls for 6, as seen in all other copies traced. Clark, Old South I:192; Howes A226; Sabin 1366) Second edition. 

In the last half of the eighteenth century, England and Europe were hungry for information concerning america.  One of the books which had combinations of personal and borrowed observation and reflection. one of the best know is Lieutenant Thomas Anburey's Travels through the Interior Parts of America printed for William Lane in 1789.  It was reckoned a valuable source on the Borgoyne campaign, in which the author served and on America, through which he traveled. Anburey's Travels are for the most part lifted from earlier publications. The work was lifted in large chunks from the accounts and descriptions of more than a dozen earlier travels, histoires and geographies. Anburey was doing only what other did-and this can be said to his credit, that if he borrowed from others, it was from the better writers on America; if he copied, it was not without some imagination.  Some of his letters contain materials from Peters Chastellux, Kalm, Smyth and Burnaby and in general he improved the language of the originals, making it clearer and more succinct on the whole more personal. The incidents which came within his own view he related at first hand, but for the larger picture of battles he went to the historians. Although the Travels are not authentic, what they report is essentially correct. They have on the whole a sound ring; and if they are read with the understanding that they can rise no higher than their source, they are stil of worth and still good reading. (Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Volume 37 Number 1, pgs 23-36: Whitefield J Bell)

Condition: 

Moderate wear, joints starting; with half-titles; corners bumped and rubbed through, foxing and 3-inch repaired closed tear to map;  crack down spine center, volume one front exterior hing beginning, 1815 inscription on front free endpaper.else a fair set.


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