Item #3428 Descobrimento da Australia pelos Portuguezes em 1601. Richard Henry MAJOR.
Descobrimento da Australia pelos Portuguezes em 1601...

Descobrimento da Australia pelos Portuguezes em 1601...

Lisbon: Melchiades and Co., 1863. Large octavo pamphlet, original printed wrappers, 24 pp., and a map. An excellent copy. Scarce pamphlet championing the Portuguese discovery of the continent, based upon the Dieppe portolan charts purportedly depicting the northern and eastern coastlines of Australia. The author was the historian and linguist Richard Henry Major, whose impressive command of archaic romance languages brought him to the inner circle of the Hakluyt Society in its early days. In 1847-1848 the Society published selected letters of Christopher Columbus, translated by Major, and some years later in 1859 he edited and translated a volume of early sources on the discovery of Australia.

This Portuguese language pamphlet summarises Major's findings, effectively claiming early Portuguese maritime knowledge of the east coast of Australia, and presumably landfall too. By implication, such historical speculations had geopolitical ramifications in undermining British territorial claims to Australia. Naturally, Major's views were popular in Portugal where he was feted and welcomed into the Royal court and honoured with a ceremonial knighthood.

Some bibliographic complexity surrounds Major's pamphlets on the Dieppe portolan charts, because the titles appear with different wording on the wrappers (at variance with the title-page itself). Ferguson effectively clarifies the issue, listing two Lisbon imprints of 1863, in quarto and octavo format respectively. Ferguson 12201. Item #3428

Price (AUD): $600.00