# 37099

RAY, John (1627-1705)

[NATURAL HISTORY; PALESTINE; ASIA MINOR; ARABIA; ETHIOPIA etc.] A collection of curious travels and voyages,

$1,900.00 AUD

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in two parts; the first containing Leonhart Rauwolff’s Itinerary into the Eastern countries; as Syria, Palestine, or the Holy Land, Armenia, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Chaldea, &c. Translated from the High Dutch by Nicholas Staphorst. The second taking in many parts of Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt, Arabia Felix, and Petraea, Ethiopia, the Red-Sea, &c. From the observations of Mons. Belon, Mr. Vernon, Dr. Spon, Dr. Smith, Dr. Huntingdon, Mr. Greaves, Alpinus, Veslingius, Thevenot’s Collections, and others. The Second Edition. London : Publish’d by Mr. John Ray, Printed for S. Smith and B. Walford, Printers to the Royal Society, at the Prince’s Arms in S. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1705. Octavo (190 mm), contemporary panelled calf (a few scratches), spine in compartments with old manuscript title piece (leather frayed at head), front pastedown with armorial bookplates of Osbert Salvin (1835-1898), British naturalist, ornithologist, and herpetologist, and Frederick DuCane Godman (1834-1919), British lepidopterist, entomologist and ornithologist; pp [2 blank], [24], 328, 186, [4 blank]; internally excellent, a few leaves with pale water stains at upper corners, otherwise clean and crisp throughout; binding firm; a very good copy in an attractive contemporary binding.

John Ray FRS (1627-1705) was a religious naturalist widely regarded as one of the earliest of the English parson-naturalists. He published a number of important works on botany, zoology, and natural theology. His classification of plants, published in his Historia Plantarum, was a significant step towards modern taxonomy.

Understandably, Ray placed much emphasis on plant collecting and other observations of the natural world in the selections he made for his anthology of travel accounts, A collection of curious travels and voyages, although the passages selected from a wide range of travel writers by no means confine themselves exclusively to these subjects.

The fact that the present copy was owned by two eminent British naturalists of the second half of the nineteenth century provides a nice association with the author of the work: Ray is likely to have been something of a scientific hero to both Osbert Salvin and Frederick DuCane Godman.

While Trove locates three copies of the first edition of 1693 in Australian libraries (University of Adelaide Library; RGSSA Library; SLSA), as well as several copies of the much later edition of 1738, we can trace no copy of this 1705 second edition in Australian collections.

Keynes 95