Book Description

12mo. Publisher’s original boards with printed titles in black to the upper board and spine. Page edges untrimmed. Additional engraved pictorial title page and frontispiece. A very good, unsophisticated copy, the binding secure although with cracking to the joints (the boards held by the cords only, albeit firmly), chipping and loss to the spine and wear to the corners and extremities. The contents with toning, the occasional minor mark, a small hole to pp.201-202 (affecting a couple of words, but with no loss of meaning), and the odd small tear or chip to page margins where pages have been roughly opened, are otherwise in very good order.
Dealer Notes
A scarce edition of Longueville’s imaginary shipwreck narrative - “an enormously popular work, rivalling Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, of which it is possibly the best imitation” (Howgego, ‘Encyclopaedia of Exploration: Invented and Apocryphal Narratives of Travel’). The English Hermit “tells the story of one Philip Quarll, shipwrecked on a small island in the South Sea for almost fifty years, whose peace is interrupted by the arrival of the Bristol merchant Edward Dorrington, to whom he relates the history of his life of tranquility”. Describing Quarll’s early adventures, his escape from a locksmith apprenticeship, simultaneous marriage to three women, and subsequent experiences at sea, the text moves on to survey the free and easy life he discovers for himself, along with his pet monkey Beaufidelle, on the island where he is shipwrecked. Indeed, “apart from occasional intrusions by bloodthirsty Indians and marauding Russian pirates, life in his ‘second Garden of Eden’ is carefree and idyllic, so much so that he refuses Dorrington’s invitation to return to England” (Howgego).

First published in 1727, the work borrowed substantially from William Dampier’s Voyages for its geographical descriptions. This has been most notably demonstrated by Dampier biographer William Bonner, who has shown that the island on which Quarll is shipwrecked is identical in its topography to one of the Tres Marias group off the coast of California, located and described by Dampier in his Voyages (Bonner, ‘Captain William Dampier’).

Only two UK institutional holdings of this edition are recorded by Library Hub (British Library and University of Manchester).
Author [LONGUEVILLE, Peter]:
Date 1815
Publisher London: Dean and Munday.

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