ROBERTSON (1721-1793). L’Histoire de l’Amérique, Par M. Robertson, Principal de l’Université d’Édimbourg, & Historiographe de Sa Majesté Britannique pour l’Ecosse.


First 12mo edition, published 3 years after the English original.
“L’Histoire de l’Amérique” illustrated by Robertson printed in 1780 sumptuously bound in contemporary green morocco with the arms of the Duchesse de Berry (1798-1870).

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SKU: LCS-18508 Category:

Paris, chez Pissot, 1780.

4 volumes 12mo: I/ 380 pp., II/ 572 pp., III/ 520 pp., (3) pp., 4 folding plates, IV/ (2) ll., 434 pp., 1 folding plate.

Full green morocco, wide gilt border around the covers, arms gilt-stamped in the center, ribbed spines finely decorated, inner border, parma tabis linings and endleaves, gilt edges. Superb armorial binding by Doll.

170 x 95 mm.

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First 12mo edition, published 3 years after the English original.

In 1777, William Robertson (1721-1793) published his History of America, 2 volumes 4to.

When it was published in England and throughout Europe, it was a success that posterity has confirmed. The cold impartiality of the story was well suited to the author’s judicious character. He himself characterized his style when he said: “While writing, I always think of myself as giving my testimony in a court of law”. His style is easy and flowing, his opinions sound and enlightened.

This is an account of the Spanish conquests, particularly of Mexico and Peru.

Attractive edition adorned with 4 fold-out maps of America: Gulf of Mexico; Mexico and California; American Isthmus and West Coast of South America; South America and an engraved fold-out plate showing the Chronological Table of the Mexicans.

William Robertson (1721-1793), principal of the University of Edinburgh and His Britannic Majesty’s historiographer for Scotland, is known to Americanists for his History of America, first published in 1777. It covers the discovery of America, as well as the conquest of Mexico and Peru, from the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the end of the Spanish conquest. It includes accounts of the conquests by Christopher Columbus, Hernando Cortez, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Vasco de Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and Amengo Vespucci.

“What Robertson has published embraces only the History of Spanish America: he intended to publish that of English America, known today as the United States; death unfortunately prevented him, and only a fragment of the latter history was found in his papers, which was published in Paris, with Denné, in two small volumes 12mo.

To compose the first part of the Histoire de l’Amérique, Robertson drew on the best Spanish authors and the most enlightened travelers. In employing these materials, he exercised severe criticism, and threw deep observations into his work: he is nevertheless accused with some justification of having compensated somewhat for the cruelty of the Spaniards”. – Bibl. des Voyages. (Catalogue d’ouvrages sur l’histoire de l’Amérique, no. 570).

Although unfinished, the work went through numerous editions and translations, including one in Armenian!

A precious and beautiful copy printed on fine Holland paper coming from the libraries of the Duchesse de Berry.

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ROBERTSON (1721-1793).


Paris, chez Pissot, 1780.