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RYCAUT, Sir Paul (1628--1700)
The history of the Turkish Empire from the year 1623. to the year 1677. Containing the reigns of the three last emperours, viz. Sultan Morat or Amurat IV. Sultan Ibrahim, and Sultan Mahomet IV. his son, the XIII. emperour now reigning. By Paul Rycaut Esq; late consul of Smyrna.
London: printed by J[ohn]. M[acock]. for John Starkey, 1680.
[8], 89, [3], 336, [16] p. : [5] engr. pl. (4 ports.) ; 30.7 cm. (2°)

Printer's name from ESTC. Richard Knolles published his Generall Historie of the Turkes in 1603 and a fifth edition was published in 1638 (q.v.); Sir Paul Rycaut published his first addition to the 'History' in 1666. This is the first edition published after Rycaut spent 11 years in Smyrna as the consul for the Levant company, and contains much new information. 'The Memoirs Of Paul Ricaut, Esq.; Containing the History Of The Turks, From The Year 1660. to the year 1678. With the most Remarkable Passages Relating to the English Trade In the space of Eighteen Years' covers the period of the author's residence in Turkey. Although 'Memoirs' (pp. [61]--336, second sequence) have a separate title-page and table of contents, and are dated 1679, there is no evidence that they were ever published separately and pagination is continuous. 'Rycaut, from his long residence and connection with the Embassy, was well qualified to delineate Levantine customs. Rycaut's History is regarded as one of the best of its kind with respect to the religious and military state of Turkey' (see E.G. Cox, A reference guide to the literature of travel, vol. 1, 1935 [reprinted 1948, 1969], p. 210). 'An extremely important and influential work, which provides the fullest account of Ottoman affairs during the 17th century' (Blackmer 1463). The work also contains much material on Jewish life in the Ottoman empire including an important contemporary account of Sabbatai Zevi, the Jewish messianic figure of the 17th century. With a three-page catalogue of books printed for John Starkey at the end. ESTC r7369; Wing R2406; Biblioteca Anglo-Judaica B18, 19.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting the first leaf with full-page frontispiece portrait of the author after Lely. Bought from Thomas Boone with Knolles's The generall historie of the Turkes, 1638 (q.v.), the two volumes for 15s., 5 February 1808. (Spiers Box). Front pastedown inscribed in ink by Soane 7/6. An earlier armorial bookplate with motto 'Pro Rege Et Patria' is obscured by Soane's spade-shield bookplate. Occasional marginalia in ink in an early hand.

Binding C18th calf, gilt double-ruled spine, red spine-label.

Reference Number 1491


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