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De Bry “John Smith is captured by the French" - 1618 - Virginia - Americana

De Bry “John Smith is captured by the French" - 1618 - Virginia - Americana

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"John Smith is captured by the French"

-Original Copperplate Engraving

-Theodore De Bry (1528-1598)

-Page 9.5 x 13 inches (23 x 33cm)

-Image 8.5 x 6 inches (22 x 15cm)


-Good condition - some mild toning and marks to page. 

-Verso blank

This is an original plate from Part 10 of De Bry's famous set of "Grands Voyages". Alongside a description of America by Vespucci and a description of Virginia by Hamor, this part reprinted John Smith's famous "Description of New England", first published in 1616. In this work, John Smith described the land of New England which he portrayed as rich in minerals, wildlife and plants. Some of the tales he described are fanciful, but nevertheless, the work was successful in encouraging early English settlers to the New World, in a new land free from Religious persecution. 

This is plate 12 from the series, depicting John Smith being captured by the French. The text reads:

"In 1615, during one of John Smith’s voyages across the Atlantic, he was caught by some French pirates. While at sea in captivity he was forced to suffer great hardships but, one night during a storm in the Bay of Bissau when the crew were forced below deck, he managed to escape in a rowing boat. All night he was tossed about by the waves with only a pike to help him steer. The small boat was eventually driven ashore on the island of Charente where some bird-catchers found him almost dead from cold and hunger. He gave them the boat in exchange for help in eventually reaching La Rochelle."
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