A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels, Volume 12


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 12th volume of the original London edition, which includes narratives of travel by Europeans to North America. The book opens with a description of the life and New World discoveries of Christopher Columbus, written by his son Fernando. This is followed by several accounts of English voyages of discovery of and settlement in North America, from the late 15th century onward, including voyages by Sir Walter Raleigh. The concluding narrative is that of Jacques Cartier (1491‒1557), whose explorations of the Saint Lawrence River and the surrounding area later formed the basis for French claims on the continent and the name of Canada (from Kanata, a Huron-Iroquois word for a settlement or village).

Last updated: November 29, 2017