A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels, Volume 3


A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in All Parts of the World is a 17-volume compilation of travel narratives assembled by the Scottish historian and poet John Pinkerton (1758‒1826), first published in Great Britain in 1808‒14. A contemporary and acquaintance of the historian Edward Gibbon and the novelist Sir Walter Scott, Pinkerton wrote books on Scottish history and poetry, numismatics, and other topics, as well as his own plays and poems. Many of the narratives were newly translated into English from French, German, Dutch, Latin, Italian, Spanish, and other European languages. Each volume is illustrated with plates. A six-volume American edition of Pinkerton’s collection of voyages was published in Philadelphia in 1810‒12. Shown here is the third volume of the original London edition, which includes narratives of travel by Europeans to Scotland, the Hebrides, the Orkney and Shetland Islands, and to Ireland. More than half of the book consists of accounts by Thomas Pennant (1726‒98) of his two extensive tours of Scotland in 1769 and 1772. Also included is the account by Martin Martin (died 1719) of his voyage to Saint Kilda and of the western isles of Scotland. The remaining works in the compilation are “An Account of Hirta and Rona,” by Sir George Mackenzie, later earl of Cromarty; “A Brief Description of Orkney, Zetland, Pightland Firth, and Caithness,” by John Brand, a Church of Scotland minister; “A Tour in Ireland,” an account of  a journey taken in 1776‒79 by the agricultural reformer Arthur Young; and “Letters Concerning the Natural History of the Basaltes of the Northern Coast of the County of Antrim,” by William Hamilton (first published in Ireland in 1780).

Last updated: November 29, 2017