LITHGOW, William.

The Totall Discourse, of the rare Adventures,


The Totall Discourse, of the rare Adventures,
and painefull Peregrinations of long nineteene yeares Travailes from Scotland, to the most famous Kingdomes in Europe, Asia, and Affrica. Persited by three deare bought Voyages, in surveying of forty eight Kingdomes ancient and modern; twenty one Rei-publicks, ten absolute Principalities, with two hundred Islands. The particular Names whereof, are described in each Argument of the ten Divisions or Parts of this History; and it also divided into three Bookes: being newly corrected, and augmented in many severall places, with the addition of a Table thereunto annexed of all the chiefe heads. Wherein is contayned an exact Relation of the Lawes, Religions, Policies and Governments of all their Princes, Potentates and People. Together with the grievous Tortures he suffered by the Inquisition of Malaga in Spaine: His miraculous Discovery and Delivery. And of his last and late returne from the Northern Isles, and other places adjacent.
Okes, London, 1640

In stock


This book is probably the earliest authority for coffee-drinking in Europe, Turkish Baths, a pigeon post between Aleppo and Baghdad, Turkish tobacco-pipes, artificial incubation, and the importation of currants from Zante to England. Lithgow (1582-1645?), tailor, later traveller, was born in Lanark. This classic account first appeared in 1614 and went through numerous additions being constantly added to as Lithgow made more travels. He visited Italy, the Ionian Islands, Athens, Crete and the Aegean Archipelago in 1609 and stayed for a time on Chios, where he met two French merchants whom he joined to visit Greek monuments and antiquities. Lithgow travelled some 36,000 miles as described in this work. He was imprisoned and tortured in Spain, released at the intervention of James I, and again imprisoned in London for assaulting the Spanish Ambassador.


Second edition. Small 4to. Woodcut frontispiece portrait of Lithgow in Ottoman dress (repeated at page 124) and other woodcuts in text,contemporary blind-stamped calf, raised bands, paper label, small paper restoration to blank outer margin of frontispiece (approx 1 x 1cm) with soft creasing to same, an excellent copy.

Provenance: Bernard Turney (inscription date 1642 to verso of frontispiece, bought for 3 shillings and sixpence from Thomas Clutterbuck); Sheppard (old black stamp to title with a sheep, the number 20, and name); Frederic et Anne Max (booklabel); D. G. MacKenzie (bookplate).


Not in Atabey; Blackmer 1021; STC 15714; Rohricht 934; Tobler p.93; Koç, Constantinople I 49.


Stock ID: 85877