Voyages and Travells of the Ambassadors sent by Frederick Duke of Holstein, to the Great Duke of Muscovy, and the Kings of Persia. Begun in the Year M.DC. XXXIII. and finish'd in M.D.CXXXIX. Containing a Compleat History of Muscovy, Tartary, Persia. And other adjacent Countries . . . Whereto are added the Travels of John Albert de Mandelslo . . . from Persia, into the East-Indies. Containing a Particular Description of Indosthan, the Mogul's Empire, the Oriental ilands, Japan, China, &c. . . .
Place and Imprint: London: Printed for John Starkey and Thomas Basset, 1669.
Edition: Second edition in English, preceded by the edition of 1662.
Bibliographical References: ESTC R30756; Wing O270; Cox, Literature of Travel, I, page 249.
Condition: Several of the maps have paper repairs at the folds and in the margins; the third map, of the River Volga, is a little darkened at the edges and dust-soiled; the two leaves (Q4 & R1) adjacent to that map are also a little darkened and dust-soiled; one clean tear to a leaf, without loss; very good copy.
Book ID: 28698
Physical DescriptionFolio in fours, contemporary mottled calf rebacked, red morocco spine label, blind rules and gilt lettering. Frontispiece, six folding maps, two portraits and one engraved Cyrillic alphabet in the text.
CommentsIn 1634 Frederick III of Holstein-Gottorp (present day Denmark and Germany), sent an expedition, with Adam Olearus (1603-1671) as its secretary, from Hamburg to Moscow in an attempt to establish commercial relations with Russia, which failed. Undeterred Frederick sent a similar expedition to Persia in 1636, also with Adam Olearius as secretary The first part of this work is the first English translation by John Davies of Olearius’ detailed account of those expeditions, in its second edition. The second part contains the account by German adventurer Johan Albrecht de Mandelslo (1616-1644) of his departure from Frederick’s mission to Persia and continuation on to India, China, Japan and Formosa, also translated by Davies from Olearius’ posthumous editing and publication of that travelogue. Though trade missions generally make for dull reading, Olearius’ narrative is quite engaging with details and anecdotes about the people and places they encountered. Typical of his observations is one about the Russians: “There is no place in the World where drunkenness is more common than in Muscovy . . . Ecclesiastics and laicks, Men and Women, Old and Young, will drink strong water at any time, before, at and after their meals . . . will drink of it till they lye down, and many times die in the place.” From the library of John Evelyn, with the Evelyn book label (“JE”) on the front paste-down. Early marginal notes in Mandelslo's adventures, though not in Evelyn's hand, alas.
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