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De Bry Rare Books

Rare with Map of Eldorado and South America - Walter Raleigh - Hulsius - 1599 - Brevis & admiranda descriptio regni Guianae, auri abundantissimi, in America

Rare with Map of Eldorado and South America - Walter Raleigh - Hulsius - 1599 - Brevis & admiranda descriptio regni Guianae, auri abundantissimi, in America

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Brevis & admiranda descriptio regni Guianae, auri abundantissimi, in America, seu novo orbe, sublinea aequinoctilia siti: Quod nuper admodum, annis nimirum 1564 [i.e. 1594]. 1595 & 1596.

"A Brief and Admirable Description of the Kingdom of Guiana, most Abundant in Gold, in America, or in the New World, Situated under the Line of the Equator: 1594, 1595, 1596"

-Published in Nuremberg by Levinus Hulsius in 1599. 

-Complete: [6], 12, [2] pp with engraved title page, 1 folding map (laid down) and 6 engr. plates

-4° in contemporary calf, rebacked. 

-Margins restored in places, outer margin of some plates cut slightly short, some marks and stains

This is a hugely important contemporary account of Raleigh's voyage in search of El Dorado. The expedition set out to explore the Orinoco river during the English war against Spain in 1595. Raleigh first captured a Spanish settlement on Trinidad, before exploring Guiana some 400 miles inland. He failed to find the city of El Dorado, or any gold, but on his return published this exaggerated account to try and encourage funding for future expeditions.

The account is punctuated by mythical accounts which dated back to the mediaeval period and earlier accounts by Pliny. These include the Ewaipanomas (people with faces on their bodies) and Female Amazonian warriors, which decorate the title page.

Included is a rare map of South America by Hulsius. This includes depictions of the fabled Lake Parime, illustrations of the flora and fauna of the region, and cannibalism - a common trope on European imaging of South America at the time.

The Latin edition of this work was published as a stand alone work, alongside the large series of works by Hulsius.

A rare work which uncommonly occurs at auction or appears on the open market.

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