Forum Auctions in London will conduct its third sale of Selected 16th and 17th century English books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library on October 21.
It includes this complete first-edition copy of the 1611 travel guide Coryat’s Crudities Hastily gobbled up in five Moneths travells in France, Savoy, Italy, Rhetia… Switzerland, some parts of high Germany, and the Netherlands.
Thomas Coryate (c.1577-1617) studied at Oxford without taking a degree and ended up at the court of James I, where he gained considerable popularity as a wit and buffoon.
He used money inherited from his father to travel, setting off in 1608 and visiting some 45 cities in seven countries in five months on foot, by cart, boat and horse. It is reckoned he covered almost 2000 miles, over half of which was accomplished in one pair of shoes. On his return, they were hung up in the church at Odcombe in Somerset (his place of birth), where they remained for over a century.
This copy of his guide previously belonged to George Steevens (1736-1800), commentator on Shakespeare and friend of Samuel Johnson. Estimate £4000-6000.