The Letters of Amerigo Vespucci
London: The Hakluyt Society, 1894. First Edition. 8vo â€“ 22.8cm, (8), [i-xliv], 121pp. including index, plus 16 pages of Hakluyt Society catalogue bound at rear. In the original publisher’s blind decorated blue cloth, gilt ship vignette on front cover, gilt lettering to spine, original yellow endpapers. Spine slightly darkened, hinges un-cracked and strong, binding in Near Fine condition. Ex-library copy as normal from Birmingham Library. Interior is otherwise clean and complete.
A significant publication authored by Sir Clements Markham documenting several important, and sometimes controversial, letters including Vespucciâ€™s four main voyages of exploration.
ItalianÂ explorer Amerigo Vespucci was aÂ navigatorÂ andÂ cartographerÂ who first demonstrated thatÂ BrazilÂ and theÂ West IndiesÂ did not represent Asia’s eastern outskirts as initially conjectured fromÂ Columbus’ voyages, but instead constituted an entirely separate landmass hitherto unknown to people of theÂ Old World. Generally referred to as theâ€ťNew Worldâ€ť, this second super continent came to be termed “Americas”, derivingÂ its nameÂ fromÂ Americus, theÂ LatinÂ version of Vespucci’sÂ first name.