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The wondrous travels of Pinto according to radical enlightenment philosophy

PINTO, Fernão Mendes and Jan Hendrik GLAZEMAKER (translator).
De wonderlyke reizen van Fernando Mendez Pinto; die hij in de tijt van eenëntwintig jaren in Europa, Asia en Afrika... gedaan heeft.
Amsterdam, printed for Jan Rieuwertsz I and Jan Hendricksz Boom, 1653. 4to. With an engraved title-page and 7 engraved plates. Modern vellum. [8], 280 pp.
€ 4,500
Second edition of a translation into Dutch of the travels of the Portuguese explorer Pinto through Asia. Over a period of 21 years Pinto travelled to Africa, India and China and even claimed to have been in Tibet. By his own account he was the first westerner to enter Japan. Although the historical accuracy of his account is debatable, his story is highly entertaining and remained very popular for long after his death.
The first edition in Dutch was published in 1652 and translated by Jan Hendrik Glazemaker, most famous for his translations of the works of Descartes. Glazemaker, who did not know Portuguese, based himself on an earlier French translation by Bernard Figuier. Instead of providing an accurate translation, he edited the text to conform to the radical enlightenment ideals of Spinoza, supported by himself and his publisher. This stripped Pinto's travels of most of the Catholic elements, including miracles and saints. "Glazemaker excludes what cannot be explained from a scientific perspective" (Couto). What remains is the image of the ruthless Portuguese who used faith to justify their cruelty and greed. Contrasting with them is the book's description of a utopian China in which religions harmoniously coexist.
The back of the engraved title-page, letterpress title-page and first page of the introduction were used for a writing exercise. The main allegorical figure of the engraved title-page has been perforated at the edges and the 14 following leaves, including the letterpress title-page and one engraving, contain small, nearly invisible perforations. With a restored tear in A1, some thumbing and some water stains in the margins including a larger water stain at the bottom corner of the second half of the book; a good copy. STCN (2 copies); Cordier, Japonica, col. 38; Cordier, Sinica, col. 2067; Couto, The marvellous travels of Fernando Mendez Pinto across the Low Countries; Thiele 193.
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Related Subjects:

Africa  >  Cartography & Exploration
Asia  >  Cartography & Exploration | China | India & Sri Lanka | Japan & Far East | Southeast Asia
Cartography & exploration  >  Imaginary Voyages & Utopias | Voyages & Travel
Maritime history  >  Mutiny, Piracy & Shipwrecks