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MORDEN, Robert

Geography Rectified: or, A Description of the World, In all its Kingdoms, Provinces, Countries, Islands, Cities, Towns, Seas, Rivers, Bayes, Capes, Ports ...

Robert Morden and Thomas Cockeril. At the Atlas in Cornhill, and at the three Legs in the Poultrey over against the Stocks-Market, London, 1680
Quarto (195 x 155 mm.), full contemporary calf, blind ruled panels, rebacked preserving original spine, with raised bands and original red calf gilt title label affixed. With typographic title page printed in red and black, dedication to Thomas Goddard pp. 2, ‘To the Reader’ pp. 4, ‘Catalogue of the Maps’ printed on verso of blank leaf, ‘An Advertisement concerning the Projection …’ pp. 3, with 64 printed maps largely set within the text, pp. (14), 1-204, 241-418, omitting 205-240 which are not called for, 78 for 87, 251 for 255, 285-8 repeated, 270 for 291, 291 for 292, 363 & 4 repeated, 380 for 384, 395 for 399, 372 for 402, in this example pp. 403 & 5 and 407 & 9 bound in reverse order, two small holes in the title page, otherwise in good condition.
This rare work can arguably be called only the second purely English terrestrial world atlas ever published. Pre-dated only by the recent Richard Blome ‘Geographical Description of the Four Parts of the World’, 1670. On 29 April 1680 Robert Morden advertised for sale in the ‘London Gazette’ this his first atlas, the ‘Geography Rectified’, a geographical text illustrated with sixty-two small engraved maps. Morden had previously been in collaboration with others, largely publishing individual maps of some considerable merit. Here the maps are simple in form but are attractively engraved. A study of them indicates the possibility that the plates were engraved by Herman Moll, whose earliest known work was for Moses Pitt in the production of his atlas from 1678.

The atlas appears to have had the non-European sections typographically set before those of Europe. The first section’s pagination stops at page 204 but the ensuing non-European sections begin on page 241. This is the case in all the examples I have seen. Being an active publisher the history of the plates in the ‘Geography Rectified’ is long and not so simple. There were later editions of the work in 1688, 1693 and 1700. The second edition was ‘enlarged with about twenty new maps’ and included a total of seventy-six. Some were entirely new, others were replacements. ESTC R214230; King (2003) pp. 148-9; Phillips (1909-) no. 4265; Sabin (1868) no. 50535; Shirley (2004) T.Mord-2a;] Tyacke (1978) no. 95.
Stock number: 9673

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