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'The most vivid, comprehensive, instructive, entertaining picture of Virginia',
written by a planter living there, here in a French translation

[BEVERLEY, Robert].
Histoire de la Virginie, contenant I. L'histoire du premier etablissement dans la Virginie, & de son gouvernement jusques à présent. II. Les productions naturelles & les commoditez du païs, avant que [l]es Anglois y negociassent, & l'améliorassent. III. La religion, les loix, & les coutumes des Indiens naturels, tant dans la guerre, que dans la paix. IV. L'etat présent du païs, tant à l'égard de la police, que de l'amelioration du païs. Par un auteur natif & habitant du païs. Traduite de l'Anglois.
Amsterdam, Thomas Lombrail, 1707. 12mo. Full-page engraved frontispiece with the coat of arms of Virginia, title in red & black with Lombrails woodcut cypher-monogram TLB, 14 full-page engraved plates, 1 folding printed table, woodcut head- and endpieces, woodcut initials. Contemporary mottled calf, title in gold on spine, marbled endpapers. [6], 432, [16] pp.
€ 1,250
First edition of the French translation of an important account of the Virginia colony in America, translated from the first English edition, which was published by R. Parker in London in 1705 with the title History and present state of Virginia. Vigorous, honest, and not without humour, his history was an immediate success. Reprinted numerous times (including modern editions: 1947, 1968, ed. by L.B. Wright), it served to attract many immigrants to Virginia.
The work, subdivided in four parts, tells of the history of the first settlement and the government to 1706 (I), the natural productions and conveniences of the land before its settlement by the English (II), the indigenous peoples and their religion, laws and customs in war and peace (III) , and the present state of the country regarding the police and government as well as the improvements to the land.
Robert Beverley, jr. (1673-1722) was an important historian of early colonial Virginia. In the first edition Beverley combined shrewd insights into the Virginia of his day, sharp comments about the colony's leaders, and vivid descriptions of the natural world, all written with an engaging enthusiasm for his native land. Many consider his work the most important and accurate history of early life in the Virginia colony. It also gives a favourable account of the slave society that had developed in Virginia by the beginning of the eighteenth century.
With contemporary manuscript annotations in ink on first endleaf. Paper slightly browned. A very good copy. J.F. Bell, B211; Goldsmiths'-Kress libr. 04396; Howes B410; JCB V, 707/18; Sabin 5116; cf. Streeter II, 1098-9 (English eds.).
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