Travels in Brazil.
London, Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1816.
Large 4to. ix, (3), 501, (1) pp. With 2 maps and 8 coloured aquatints. Recent half calf in the style of the period. Library stamps expertly removed. Some very occasional spotting & discolouration, some pencilled annotations. Title of 1 plate just shaved.
First edition of this celebrated work on Brazil with attractive coloured plates. "A classic account, widely translated and often reprinted . . rich in detail concerning the appearance and character of the people, their towns, the royal government, the countryside generally, and the plantations in particular. The excellent plates were made by a close relative according to Koster's drawings" (Griffin). It is of far greater rarity than most English travel literature of the period. Henry Koster originally travelled to Brazil in 1809 for reasons of health, and once this had improved he set out to visit Paraiba and Maranhão, and later settled in Pernambuco. He returned several times by ship to England, where he published this famous book in 1816.
Though Koster had no intention of writing a book about Brazil, his friends urged him to do so, as did Robert Southey, whom he met and befriended in Portugal in 1801, and whose library he used, and he finally published this work. It was highly praised by the critics, a second edition appearing in the following year. It remains today the best description in English, frequently quoted by historians, of north-eastern Brazil before independence. Koster was an observant man; he gives a careful description of the town of Recife and similar if less detailed information about other towns he visited. It is of far greater rarity than most English travel literature of that period.
Borba de Moraes (1983) I, 437, "this first edition is the most sought after." Bosch, Brasilien-Bibliothek, 299. Rodrigues 1344. Welsh 3907. Dutra, A Guide to the History of Brazil 1500-1822, 626. Naylor 51. Abbey, Travel, 704. Sabin 38272, "highly esteemed in Brazil." Griffin, Latin America: a guide to the hist. lit., 3855. Maggs, Bibl. Brasiliensis, 278.