Legends of India: including the famous views of the settlements of Hormuz and Aden

Correa, Gaspar. Lendas da India. (Colleccao de Monumentos ineditos para a Historia das Conquistas do Portuguezes em Africa, Asia e America).

Lisbon, Academia Real das Sciencias, 1858-1864.

Small folio (234 x 278 mm). 4 volumes. XXX, 1013, (1) pp. 482, (4), 483-985, (1) pp. 438, (2), 439-909, (1) pp. 756, 98, (2) pp. With 23 lithographed plates showing views and portraits. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards.


First edition of the "Legends of India", one of the earliest and most important works about Portuguese rule in Asia: a massive contemporary account of Portuguese exploration in the East during the first half of the 16th century. The plates, reproduced from the author's own drawings in the manuscript, include the famous views of the settlements of Hormuz and Aden.

The historian Gaspar Correa (1492-1563) lived mostly in Portuguese India, first as a soldier and then as secretary to Afonso de Albuquerque. His "Lendas da Índia" is considered an indispensable contemporary work of reference, owing to the author's 35 years in the country and his access to privileged sources unknown to Lopes de Castanheda or João de Barros. The 3,500-page manuscript was brought back to Portugal shortly after Correa's death, and copies were circulated among a very limited number of persons. His family retained the manuscript of the original, which was published by the Royal Academy of Sciences of Lisbon over a period of six years.

A fine copy bound by Antonio Cardoso Henriques, Porto, with his labels to first pastedown. Inscribed to Antonio F. dos Santos on title-page. Latterly in the collection of Dr. João Braga ("Engenheiro Agronomo") with his bookplate to pastedowns (a rooster with the motto, "While I Live I'll Crow").

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