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Tall 4to. 521-616 pp. Printed in two columns; light foxing. Handsomely bound in period-style half calf marbled boards, five raised bands, gilt-stamped dark leather spine label. Near fine. THIS AN IMPORTANT WORK ON THE EARLY EXPLORATION FOR CONGO, a translation of Breve e succinta relatione del viaggio nel regno di Congo. Extracted from: vol. 1 of Awnsham Churchill's Collection of voyages and travels, 3rd ed., 1744-1746. Includes a single-leaf table of words from the Congo language "Conghese" such as, "Cariabemba" = the devil, "Cacazumbu" = wizard, and "Pompero" a buyer of slaves, etc. The journey begins in Brazil and crosses the Atlantic to the Congo and Ethiopia. // Brazil, as mentioned, being where the voyage started, the text relates of some international trade, as Portuguese ships export tobacco and sugars, "To uphold the sugar-works a vast number of slaves is required as well to plant and cultivate the canes, as to provide sufficient fuel for the prodigious furnaces that are employed both night and day: Some there are who have no less than five hundred slave for this purpose, and whose labour is so hard, and their sustenance so small, that they are reckoned to live long if they hold out seven years." (p. 529). The text mentions fruits and spices: figs ["which Arabs and Persians call mouz" p.530] "one leaf whereof serves for a table-cloth at a feast", nicesi, candied citron-peel, cinnamon, of apes and "monkies" for importing ["they are called sagoris, or sagorini, are no bigger than dormice, and are kept in cotton in muffs"], sharks, birds, monsters (p. 535) not specifically described, but seemingly human, at port to repair damage to a ship the writer makes a tale of collecting an unknown herb by these "sea-monsters" and "carrying them ashore." One can only wonder at what is being said here // "It's a nice coincidence that printing with movable type was being introduced in the same century as European travellers were setting out to explore Africa and the New World. The three areas first discovered and hence written about in sub-Saharan Africa were west Africa the Guinea coast; the Congo literary interest was still taking place in the Congo region. Michael Angelo and Denis de Carli, again both Capuchin missionaries were writing of their experiences. These were translated into English and published as part of Churchill's Collection of Voyages and Travels of 1704 as A Curious and Exact Account of a Voyage to the Congo in the years 1666 and 1667. In the same volume was the work of another Capuchin; Father Jerome Merolla da Sorrento entitled A Voyage to Congo, and several other countries chiefly in Southern-Africk, in the year 1682." Michael Graves-Johnston, bookseller, 2002, revised 2010, "Early African Literature," ABAA.org.
Title: A Voyage to Congo, and several other Countries chiefly in Southern Africk. By Father Jerom Merolla da Sorrento, a Capuchin and Apostolick Missioner in the year 1682. Made English from the Italian.
Publisher: [London]:, for Henry Lintot and John Osborn, [1744?].: 1744
lbs: 9.00 lbs
Seller ID: ME1051