Established 1976  


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[North America] Lahontan, Nouveaux Voyages de Mr. Le Baron de Lahontan Dans L'Amerique Septentrionale, Qui contiennent une relation... The Hague, 1703. 2 vols. 2 pp. Frontis., [22]. 279 pp., two maps (one folding), 12 folding plates; 2 pp. Frontis., 220, [17] pp. + folding map, 10 folding plates. 12mo. Old speckled calf. Spines rebacked with modern calf in a contrasting color, raised bands and gilt lettered labels. First edition, first issue with the angel emblem on the title page of both volumes. The three maps are all first states without page numbers.  Sold

Condition. Volume one: Text generally clean with occasional foxing. The large Carte Generale du Canada has some stains, mostly at upper right where it touched a text page; the right margin is trimmed close where fitted into the book with a two inch fold tear and some creasing. The plate facing p. 242 creased with a small tear where folded into the book. Volume 2: Some creasing to large Riviere Longue map; minor transference; Plate facing p. 133 small tear where folded into book; lower corner of leaf C12 lacking, text not affected.

Lahontan was a keen observer and his easy-to-read book was popular, going through many editions. His narrative was widely accepted both because of his social rank and the fact he served ten years with the French military in North America. He provided valuable information on Indian beaver hunting grounds as well as location of forts, portages, Indian and Jesuit settlements. However, his depiction of the rivers and the Great Lakes is crude compared to those of De L'Isle. He exaggerated and gave fictitious accounts for areas outside where he had actually traveled. His most notable fabrication was the Riviere Longue supposedly connecting the Rocky Mountains with the Mississippi. Despite this he influenced other mapmakers. Howes L25; Karpinski p. 127; Kershaw #282, #289, #298; McCorkle 703.3, 703.4; Wheat #86.

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