London: printed by W[illiam] S[tansby for the author], 1611.
First edition. Engraved title by William Hole featuring portrait bust of author surrounded by emblematic figures, four additional engraved plates (2 folding) and 2 engravings in text also by Hole, full-page woodcut badge of the Prince of Wales. , 364, , 366-393, , 395-398, 403-655,  pp. Letterpress title: "Three Crude Veines are Present in This Booke...". With errata leaf and apology for errata leaf; separate title for "Posthuma fragmenta poematum georgii coryati". 4to (209 x 145 mm). The First Grand Tour, One of the Great English Literary Curiosities. Nineteenth century full crimson morocco gilt by W. Pratt, a.e.g. Expert marginal restoration to titles and several leaves at front, some repairs to text in panegyrics resulting in browning to a small number of words and loss to a few others, a handful of neatly repaired tears throughout including to folding plates, three columns discretely colored on plate of Amphitheater of Verona, plate of Clock of Strasbourg trimmed at top and bottom borders as usual, some scattered light foxing; still a clean copy in an attractive binding. Pforzheimer 218; STC 5208. Item #307449
In 1608 Thomas Coryate, something of an unofficial court jester in the house of Henry, Prince of Wales, undertook a journey across the continent, much of it by foot, which established precedence for the Grand Tour that would become a matter of ritual for Britians of generations to come. Coryate's idiosyncratic account of his travels remains an important work of early English literature; "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" (ODNB).
"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 in five months toilsome travel wandered ... 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 as valuable as it is amusing" (Pforzheimer).
The narrative is preceded by an impressive number of panegyrics by the London literati, including Ben Jonson, George Chapman, John Donne, Thomas Campion, and many others, solicited by Corayte as a way of demonstrating to booksellers the saleability of the work. These lyrics mock as much as they pay tribute, however, and "during the winter of 1610-1611, this baiting of Coryate was apparently the talk of all literary London" (ibid).
The present copy is complete, with the errata leaf, a leaf preceding and apologizing for the errata leaf, and all plates and illustrations. "Perfect copies with the plates intact are not common" (Pforzheimer).
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