History Archive > Narratives of South America (1836)

Narratives of South America, illustrating Manners; Customs and Scenery; containing also numerous Facts in Natural History, collected during a four years' Residence in Tropical Regions.

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Date: 1836

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MLA 8

Empson, Charles. Narratives of South America. London : Printed by A.J. Valpy ... and published for the author by William Edwards. 1836.

APA

Empson, Charles (1836) Narratives of South America. London : Printed by A.J. Valpy ... and published for the author by William Edwards.

Chicago

Empson, Charles, Narratives of South America. London : Printed by A.J. Valpy ... and published for the author by William Edwards. 1836.

Description

Charles Empson had always wanted to travel and, at the age of 29 in 1824 left England for South America, spending time in the northern section of the continent in what is now Colombia. He travelled with his friend, Robert Stephenson, son of railway engineer George Stephenson. The two friends left Colombia at the end of July 1827, bringing with them precious objects of pre-Colombian art, including some gold artifacts which Charles Empson later exhibited in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Sadly some of their collection was lost in a shipwreck at the entrance to New York harbor. Following his travels Empson set up as a fine art bookseller. He later moved to Bath where he dealt in pictures, opening a museum, which perhaps functioned more as an art gallery, as it also featured the work of local artists.

The text of the first work takes the form of a series of twelve 'narratives': these do not follow any obvious path, but provide a series of delightful and informative vignettes of life in South America in the early 19th century.

This work contains colored engraved plates, illustrations of manners, customs, scenery, containing numerous other facts of natural history, the whole collected during a four years residence in tropical regions. - "Twelve colored fac-similes of drawings, from sketches made ... to illustrate the ... Narratives ... are published by Ackermann and co. ... and Charles Tilt ... London."--Notice, p. [v]

2° signed in 4s (360 x 260mm). 15 plates (14 hand-colored etched plates after Empson, 1 hand-colored engraved plate printed in brown by and after G.B. Sowerby).

Sometimes this work is also accompanied with a portfolio of 12 aquatints titled "Facsimile of twelve drawings of tropical scenery, from sketches made on the spot. London: Messrs. Ackermann & Co. and Charles Tilt. [N.D. 1836?].

This portfolio is mentioned as being available from Ackermann's and Charles Tilt in a note following the dedication leaf in the first work. The correct collation of both works is problematic. The second work clearly lacks a plate, but it is not clear if the first work requires Abbey's first plate.

Folio atlas of plates, text 8vo, together two volumes, title, dedication (1 leaf), Notice (1 leaf), Preface, pp. vii-xi; contents pp. xii, to xvi; text, pp. 1-322, imprint A.J. Valpy at foot of p. 322, text to coleoptera plates, one of these drawn and engraved by G.B. Sowerby Jnr., the other by Miss Taylor, 2ll., double column, versos blank, 15 hand. 2&&176; (341 x 248mm). 12) hand-colored plates after Empson (9 over an etched base, 2 over a lithographic base).

References:

Abbey Travel II 702; Tooley 210; Sabin VI 22548; Bobins 808.

Publication Information

Publisher: London : Printed by A.J. Valpy ... and published for the author by William Edwards

Language(s):

English

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ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-07-22

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