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Grolier Club Exhibitions


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Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver.

Jonathan Swift. 2 vols. London: Benjamin Motte, 1726. 3rd 8vo edition.

Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World by Capt. Lemuel Gulliver.

London: Printed in the year, 1727.

Memoirs of the Court of Lilliput. Written by Captain Gulliver.

London: J. Roberts, 1727. 2nd edition.

Gulliver’s Travels is a light-hearted satire of the travel narratives that were popular at the time, as well as a biting commentary on eighteenth-century society. It met with immediate success, spawning many subsequent editions, sequels, and follow-ups.

This mixed four-volume set includes the third octavo edition of Travels (Teerink’s ‘B’ edition), published two months after the first; the spurious ‘third’ volume, purporting to extend the story; and the second edition of the anonymous Memoirs

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The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner.

Daniel Defoe. London: W. Taylor, 1719. 2nd edition.

The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

London: W. Taylor, 1719. 1st edition, 2nd issue.

Serious Reflections During the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe: With His Vision of the Angelick World.

London: William Taylor, 1720. 1st edition.

A mixed-edition set of Defoe’s iconic novel and its two sequels. The first edition of The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, published on 25 April 1719, was so popular that the second edition (this set), followed less than three weeks later.  

The character of Crusoe was likely inspired in part by the Scottish castaway, Alexander Selkirk, who was rescued from an uninhabited island in the South Pacific by Captain Woodes Rogers in 1709. 

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Typee: A Romance of the South Seas.

Herman Melville. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1935. Illustrated by Miguel Covarrubias.

Typee (1846) was Melville’s first novel and his most popular book during his lifetime. It is partly based on the author’s experiences on the island of Nuku Hiva in the South Pacific Marquesas Islands in 1842.

The Limited Editions Club edition is illustrated by Mexican artist and ethnographer, Miguel Covarrubias (1904-1957), best known for his celebrity caricatures featured on the covers of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

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Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah.

Richard F. Burton. 3 vols. London: Longman, Brown [et al.], 1855-1856.

First edition of this classic work of travel literature. Burton’s account of his journey to the Muslim Holy cities of Mecca and Medina on a Royal Geographical Society expedition surpassed all other western accounts of these sites in its accuracy and detail. The narrative is richly illustrated with tinted lithographs, wood-engravings, and engraved maps and plans.  


The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques & Discoveries of the English Nation, made … by Richard Hakluyt.

Richard Hakluyt; intro. John Masefield. 10 vols. London: J.M. Dent, 1927-1928. 

Richard Hakluyt (1553-1616) was an Elizabethan writer known for promoting the English colonization of North America. The Hakluyt Society, founded in 1846, was named in his honor.

This edition of Hakluyt’s principal work is richly illustrated with reproductions of contemporary maps and engravings. The original dust jackets have been preserved on all but three volumes.  


Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection. Illustrated after Drawings from Egyptian Papyri and Monuments.

E.A. Wallis Budge. 2 vols. London: Medici Society, 1911.

E.A. Wallis Budge was Keeper of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum from 1894 to 1924. He acquired numerous antiquities for the museum on his frequent trips to the Middle East.  

In Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection (1911), Budge argued that the religion of Osiris emerged from an indigenous African people, contradicting the then-prevailing view that Dynastic Egypt was formed from an invading Mesopotamian civilization.

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Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

T.E. Lawrence. London: Jonathan Cape, 1935.

First trade edition of the autobiographical account of British soldier, T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935), whose military mission to Jordan in 1916-1918 was immortalized in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.