(London: Printed for T. Evans, 1774; 1771). 175 x 100 mm. (6 7/8 x 4"). Two volumes. Fifth edition.
Inoffensive contemporary calf, upper covers with fading impressions of a blind stamp with the name "Cooper," raised bands with gilt ruling, red morocco spine labels with gilt lettering. Title pages with the ink signature of Samuel Cooper, Sabin 23489; Brunet II, 1140 (citing earlier and later editions). Joints just a touch worn, tail of spine on volume II partly torn away, covers with a few small ink spots and abrasions but in very good condition overall; internally fresh and clean, only two small open tears (one touching the catchword in the corner). A very good set.
This is a pleasing, unsophisticated set of this classic collection of accounts of the bold exploits of pirates, particularly in the West Indies. First printed in Dutch, in 1678, "Bucaniers" was a sensational bestseller in several languages and the inspiration for many derivative works. Sabin says that "perhaps no book in any language was ever the parent of so many imitations, and the source of so many fictions as this." As such, the publication history of this work is lonng. Our copy seems to be a combination of the two fifth editions with imprint dates of 1771 and 1774. Sabin groups these two printings together, and given the fact that they retain their contemporary bindings and the signature of the original owner, we may conclude that they were sold thusly from the beginning (i.e. this is not a married set put together later). The four parts of the work contain the accounts of the Flemish traveller, seaman, and travel writer Exquemelin (or Esquemeling or Oexmelin, 1645?-1707), similarly exciting exploits recounted by the English buccaneer Basil Ringrose, and two first-person narratives translated from the French. Much of the book's success was no doubt the result of the immediacy of the narrative, having been produced by persons directly involved in the actions described. (ST14781)
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PJP Catalog: SE18BF.063