London: Printed by W[illiam] S[tansby], 1611. First edition. Quarto in eights (8 1/8 x 6 inches; 206 x 153 mm). [-]2; a8-b8 ([-]1 inserted after a3); b4; c8-g8; h4-l4; B8-D8 (D3 inserted after preceding D); E8-3C8; 3D4; [-]2 (first is signed 3E3 and both are errata). The present copy collates the same as Pforzheimer. Illustrated with engraved title-page by William Hole and five engraved plates. Plates include the woodcut of the badge of the Prince of Wales as well as three folding plates. Also illustrated with two inter-textual engravings and numerous woodcut initials and head-pieces. With two leaves of errata.
19th-century straight-grain red morocco. Boards ruled and stamped in gilt with a central gilt coat-of-arms of Sir Henry Harben. Gilt dentelles and board edges. All edges gilt. Marbled endpapers. Some occasional light dampstaining and a few instances of old ink marginalia. The clock plate has been reinforced on the back side with two small tape repairs. The clock plate is not cropped which is rare. Engraved title is inserted on a stub. It has been remargined on the outer right margin and cropped close, as usual. Some light rubbing to edges and hinges. Book plates on front endpapers of Henry Devenish Harben, Dogmersfield Library and Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow. An exceptional copy.
"Perfect copies with the plates intact are not common...The D.N.B. has repeated the statement that the Chetham copy is the only perfect one know" (Pforzheimer 218).
This copy owned by and bound for Sir Henry Harben (1823-1911) who was the driving force behind the Prudential Insurance Company and was knighted in 1897. This copy also with the bookplate of his grandson, Henry Devenish Harben (1874-1967), chairman of Prudential Insurance Company.
"There probably has never been another such combination of learning and unconscious buffoonery as is here set forth. Coryate was a serious and pedantic traveller who (as he states in his title) in five months toilsome travel wandered, mostly on foot, over a large part (by his own reckoning 1,975 miles) of western Europe. His adventures probably appeared to his contemporaries as more ridiculous than exciting, but at this remove, his chronicle by its very earnestness provides an account of the chief cities of early seventeenth century Europe which is at least valuable as it is amusing. It was probably his difficulties with the booksellers which induced Coryate to solicit the extraordinary sheaf of testimonials prefixed to the volume. Possibly he acted upon the notion apparently now current among publishers of social directories that every person listed is a prospective purchaser of the work. At any rate he secured contributions from more than sixty writers at the time. Among his panegyrists appear the names of Jonson, Chapman, Donne, Campion, Harington, Drayton, Davies of Hereford, and others, each contributor vying to mock poor Coryate with solemn ridicule" (Pforzheimer 218).
"Coryate drew on his experiences in writing Coryats Crudities (1611), which was intended to encourage courtiers and gallants to enrich their minds by continental travel. It contains illustrations, historical data, architectural descriptions, local customs, prices, exchange rates, and food and drink, but is too diffuse and bulky—there are 864 pages in the 1905 edition—to become a vade-mecum. To solicit ‘panegyric verses’ Coryate circulated copies of the title-page depicting his adventures and his portrait, which had been engraved by William Hole and which he considered a good likeness. About sixty contributors include many illustrious authors, not all in verse, some insulting, some pseudonymous. Prince Henry accepted the dedication but insisted that all were published" (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
Cox 98. Keynes 70. Pforzheimer 218. (Item #897)