The Life and Adventures of Thomas Coryate - Michael StrachanLondon, New York & Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Poor Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper worn at the edges, heavily faded at the spine and a little stained on the verso. Tape reinforcement to the verso head of the spine. A little age-toning to the edges of the text block. Private book plate to the pastedown. Contents complete, clean and tight.
Includes: Black & white plates; Maps; Fold-out maps (1); Frontispiece; Signed by the author, with additional dedication to the first blank, on the title page — without provenance.
From the cover: “Although the eccentric and witty Thomas Coryate (?1577-1617) was one of the most tireless, inquisitive, and courageous of English travellers, he has been strangely neglected by biographers, and until now the story of his life and adventures has never been fully related. It is a tale worth telling, for it involves not only his celebrated European tour described in Coryat’s Crudities, published in 1611, but also a description of his travels in the East, which are much less generally known, as Coryate, who died in India when he was forty, did not live to describe them fully. We can hail him now, in Mr Michael Strachan’s absorbing book, as the first English traveller to take a scholarly interest in the classical sites of the Trojan Plain; the first Englishman to visit India purely out of curiosity; and the first (and the last) European to walk from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, through Persia and Afghanistan, into the heart of the Mogul Empire. Coryate’s acquaintance with King James, as with Ben Jonson, Inigo Jones, and other members of the Mermaid Tavern Club, adds to his interest as a representative character of his time.
‘The Odcombian Leg-stretcher’, as he called himself, for Coryate was a native of Odcombe in Somerset, had an extraordinarily interesting life, and Mr Strachan with faithful scholarship has raised to his memory a worthy memorial — one more authentic than his legendary tomb near Surat. The book is illustrated by a frontispiece, thirty-six plates, and four maps.”