first editionWoodcut winged dragon printer's device and license on leaf preceding title-page. , 279, [3,ads]pp. Small 8vo
by Josselyn, John
London: Printed for Giles Widdows at the Green-Dragon in St. Paul's-Church-Yard, 1674. First edition. Woodcut winged dragon printer's device and license on leaf preceding title-page. , 279, [3,ads]pp. Small 8vo. Full brown 19th century morocco, a.e.g. Foxing. Bookplate of John Carter Brown (with duplicate stamp) ands stamp. First edition. Woodcut winged dragon printer's device and license on leaf preceding title-page. , 279, [3,ads]pp. Small 8vo. This work has been called the "earliest work on the Natural History of New England" (Rich). Josselyn made two trips to America, in 1638-39 and 1663-71, both times landing at Boston and spending most of the time in Maine. His narrative is highly valued for its observations on the state of medicine and surgery in the colonies, as well as its natural history content. Much of the text consists of an extensive catalogue of the flora and fauna of the region, with specific details about the character and demeanor of the creatures encountered there. For example, we find here the first full descriptions of the cranberry, blueberry and wild turkey. Josselyn includes an historical chronology (which includes its own separate titlepage), but acquired his information second hand. This work was proceeded by a more straightforward natural history: New-England's rarities discovered in birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, and plants of that country (1672). It's worth noting that Josselyn hoped these might admit him to the Royal Society. As ODNB explains, election did not transpire. For all their undoubted quality "Josselyn's two works blend dispassionate and useful observations with a retailing of marvels that he would neither read as providences nor explain, nor omit." A rare, important and interesting work. There was a second edition in the following year. Streeter Sale 635; Wing J 1091; Europeon Americana 674/105; Church 627; Sabin 36672; Henry Stevens, Nuggets 1567; Howes J254, "c"; Arents Tobacco II, 323; Siebert sale I:105; Vail 162; Cox Travel II:71
(Inventory #: 101334)
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