Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan.
STEPHENS John L. (1841.)
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First English edition (the same sheets as the New York edition). 2 vols. Folding map, 4 plans & 65 plates, with further illustrations in the text. 8vo. Fine contemporary half green morocco, spine gilt, marbled boards. ix, 424; xi, 474pp. London,
A fine copy of this important work; published using the sheets from the first edition.
Following the collapse of the 'Central American Federation', Stephens was unable to complete the mission given to him by President van Buren, and decided instead to take the opportunity to make a thorough exploration of the region. Accompanied by the architect and draughtsman Frederick Catherwood, Stephens travelled extensively throughout Central America visiting over 40 important archaeological sites, including Palenque which the two men surveyed and recorded in detail. Most importantly they discovered the lost city of Copan, which Stephens purchased for the sum of $50. He planned to take plaster casts of many of the monuments and thinking to be the Lord Elgin of the Americas, transport his finds to New York.
Unfortunately, malaria weakened the constitution of both men, and in June 1840 they were forced to return to New York, where Stephens wrote up his account of the expedition. Published in the following year, 12,000 copies were sold in the first four months alone, and twelve editions appeared in the first year - a true publishing phenomenon. Sabin, 91298; Howgego II, S46.
Stock Code: 202210