1736. London: Olive Payne, 1736.
Folio, (2), 235, 226-484, (2)pp. Frontispiece and 25 other plates engraved after Joseph Nicholls and William Jett by Isaac Basire, Thomas Bowles, W. H. Toms and others. Title page in red and black, text in two columns. Full red crushed morocco by Bedford, panelled in gilt, backstrip gilt, gilt dentelles, all edges gilt. Near fine, binding lightly worn at extremities, a magnificent copy from the library of C.L.F. Robinson (1874-1916), president of Colt Firearms, with his bookplate.
§ The classic account of Britain's most notorious outlaws, from Robin Hood, to Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, wonderfully illustrated with portraits and scenes of high drama "engraved by the best masters". Originally issued in 73 weekly or 20 monthly numbers beginning 30 June 1733; the first collected issue was published by Janeway in 1734. This is a straight reissue of the first edition with a cancel title-page, and with all the pagination errors of the first edition uncorrected. It is far less common than the Janeway edition: around a dozen copies are recorded in the US and three in England, although none at the British Library, Trinity Dublin, Yale, or Harvard.
The text largely came from Captain Alexander Smith’s The history of the lives of the most noted highway-men...(1714) and from Captain Johnson's A general history of the robberies and murders of the most notorious pyrates...(1724). Sabin notes that Johnson's 1724 text "embodies many items relating to the Colonial History of British America, nowhere else extant, as, the Adventures of Blackbeard, and his Capture by Lieut. Maynard in the James River, V.a... etc." It was long believed that Captain Johnson was a pseudonym of Daniel Defoe, although evidence now points to the sailor, printer, and journalist, Nathaniel Mist.
The section on pirates is one of the best accounts of the lives and careers of the most famous pirates of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, with entries on Mary Read, Ann Bonny, Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, Captain Avery, Henry Morgan, and others, with several fine engravings.
This copy was in the library of Col. Charles F.L. Robinson, a president of Colt Firearms and a noted collected of early Americana. His impressive library, including the Hoe copy of Exquemelin’s Bucaniers, was auctioned in 699 lots over three days by Anderson in 1917 and made over $66,000. (The Dial, Vol.LXII, reported the results at length.)
Hill p.461. Sabin 36195, see also 36188. ESTC N18300. Item #123308