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Lot 103: 1699 Book Titled: The History of the Bucaniers of America Alex Exquemelin London
29 October 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
1699 Book Regarding The Real "Pirates of the Caribbean" Titled: "The History of the Bucaniers of America..."
1699, "The History of the Bucaniers of America, from Their First Original Down to this Time; Written in Several Languages; and Now Collected into One Volume," Alexandre Exquemelin, London, 564 pages, octavo, 5" x 8", Choice Very Fine.
This wonderful early book is the best and most extensive account of the British and French pirates of the Caribbean, and the primary source book on the romantic era of freebooting on the Spanish Main. This work has served as the basis for many novels, stories and dramas, as well as establishing the reputations of a number of pirates. At least one of those described in the work was not happy with the way he was portrayed: Sir Henry Morgan sued for defamation of character, and was awarded 200 and a public apology. The plates include portraits of some of the buccaneers in the narrative, including Morgan, as well as numerous maps of areas in Latin America.
Exquemelin's work was first published in Dutch in 1678 and was very popular. The third and fourth parts of this edition have a second title: "A Journal of a Voyage Made into the South Sea, by the Bucaniers or Freebooters of America." This edition includes 23 (or 25) copperplate maps and engravings, most of which are folding. There is one missing map ("A Description of the South Sea & Coasts of America Containing Ye Whole Navigation and all those places at Which Capt. Sharp and His Companions Were in the Years 1680 & 1681") and one missing engraving ("The Spanish Armada Destroyed by Captain Morgan).
Maps and plates have light toning, occasional foxing and short fold separations on several maps that are mostly confined to the blank margins. The text is in good condition with light toning, foxing and some manuscript notations. The hinges are starting, the spine is cracked and the covers show light wear. A bookplate and notations from several previous owners appear on the front pastedown and front free-endpaper. Very worthwhile and collectible.