A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels, Volume 8


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 eighth volume of the original London edition, which includes narratives of travel by Europeans to India. It opens with the “Hindostan” part of the journal of Sir Thomas Roe, England’s ambassador to the court of the Great Mogul, Jahangir, in 1615‒19. This is followed by a memoir of the Indian travels of François Bernier. Among other things, Bernier witnessed and describes the seizure by Aurangzeb of the Mughal throne in 1658. Also included are an extract from the voyages of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier mostly about his visits to the diamond mines of present-day Ramallakota, Golkonda, and Kollur in about 1645; A New Account of the East Indies, a complete work by Alexander Hamilton about his years in India and elsewhere in Asia between 1688 and 1723; a piece by Henry Lord (born 1563), “Two Foreign Sects in the East Indies,” which sheds light on Hindu and Parsee cosmography; and extracts from A Journey from Madras through the Countries of Mysore, Canara, and Malabar, by East India Company surgeon and botanist Francis Hamilton of Buchanan.

Last updated: November 29, 2017