Hakluyt Society recent news and forthcoming events

Hakluyt Society Recent News and Forthcoming Events

Hakluyt Society Recent News and Forthcoming Events

Coronavirus update

Post to the Society cannot be processed as the poste restante address, the British Library, is currently closed. A number of institutional members in the USA have been in touch asking the Society not to send books, as they are currently closed. These requests have been noted. The Society is also aware that many UK universities, libraries and museums are also closed and will not attempt to send books until current restrictions are lifted.
This notice will be updated as circumstances change. In the meantime the office remains open remotely – please contact the Administrator at office@hakluyt.com if you have any queries.


Lecture by Peter Barber online

The Hakluyt Society’s Annual Lecture for 2020 was given by Peter Barber, formerly Head of Cartographic and Topographic Materials at the British Library, under the title, ‘From Geneva to the Rigi: British images of Switzerland in texts, guidebooks and maps, 1650-1904’. To find it in our new space for videos on the website, simply follow this link.


Online talk by Michael Brennan

The talk Professor Brennan was planning to give to the editorial workshop scheduled for 20 March is now available on this website by following this link. Professor Brennan’s subject is the Hakluyt Society volume he is editing on English travellers to Venice, 1450-1600. The video is best viewed at ‘full screen’.


2019 Annual Lecture published

The lecture by Carla Rahn Phillips, ‘The Struggle for the South Atlantic: Sources and Serendipity’ has been printed and distributed to members. Instructions for purchasing copies may be found here.


Results of the Essay Prize Competition 2020

The Hakluyt Society Essay Prize for 2020 is awarded to Dr Katie Bank (University of Sheffield), for her essay: ‘Truth and Travel: The Principal Navigations and “Thule, the Period of Cosmographie”’. Her essay has now been published in the Journal of the Hakluyt Society and is available for free download from this website.

An Honourable Mention is awarded to Ellen Smith (University of Leicester), for her essay: ‘Crafting Traditional Families in the British Empire: The Biography of Caroline Cuffley Giberne, 1803-1885’

Our thanks to all the participants and warmest congratulations to the winners.


Maps and Mapping Conference in Paris

The Hakluyt Society is one of the sponsors of a conference in Paris, 15-16 January 2021, with the theme ‘Maps and Mapping in English-speaking Countries in the 17th and 18th Centuries‘. This will be the annual conference of the Société d’études anglo-américaines des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, held the Université Paris-Diderot. The organisers have issued a call for papers (in French and English); offers of papers in either language are welcome.

For further information please follow this link.

Cook Voyages Conference Proceedings published online

The papers presented at the recent collaborative conference in Paris, ‘Captain Cook after 250 years: Re-exploring The Voyages of James Cook‘, have been published in the online journal Astrolabe, April 2020.


Latest publications from the Hakluyt Society

Trevor H. Levere: The Arctic Journal of Captain Henry Wemyss Feilden, RA, the Naturalist on HMS Alert, 1875-1876. The first publication of the daily diary of Feilden, one of the two full-time naturalists on what was the first major British naval expedition to the high Arctic. 431 pages, 10 maps, 17 colour plates, 68 figures; including a 34-page Introduction, appendices, bibliography, indexes. The book is issued free of charge to Society members and was distributed in November / December 2019.

Angela Byrne: A Scientific, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour / John (Fiott) Lee in Ireland, England and Wales 1806-1807. This is a critical edition of the travel diaries and sketchbooks of Dr John Lee FRS, published for the first time. Shortly after graduating from Cambridge University, Lee set out on a seven-month walking tour through England , Wales and Ireland, visiting most of the key sites on the ‘home tour’ such as Llangollen, the lakes of Killarney, and the Wicklow Mountains, but also less visited sites such as the Blasket Islands, County Kerry. Most of the content relates to Ireland and paints a picture of Irish social, cultural and political life in the aftermath of the 1798 and 1803 rebellions, and the 1801 Act of Union. 396 pages, 6 maps, 15 illustrations. The book is issued free of charge to members and was distributed in February 2019.


New publications from the Hakluyt Society

Richard J. Campbell, ed., with Peter T. Bradley and Joyce Lorimer: The Voyage of Captain John Narbrough to the Strait of Magellan and the South Sea in His Majesty’s Ship Sweepstakes, 1669-1671.

In 2009, after a public appeal, the British Library purchased a manuscript ‘Booke’, which Captain Narbrough bought in 1666 and into which he subsequently entered his journals of his voyages and correspondence relating to them. The ‘Booke’ contains his own fair copy of the journal of his voyage through the Strait of Magellan and north to Valdivia in the Sweepstakes, 1669-1671. This is published here for the first time, together with an incomplete and somewhat different copy of the journal, held in the Bodleian Library, which was made for him by a clerk after he returned to England, and which was partially published in 1694. Both versions of the journal together with previously unpublished records made by members of his company, as well as reproductions of the charts which Narbrough relied on and those he produced, are printed here.

Narbrough’s mission was to carry out a passenger who referred to himself as Don Carlos Enriques and who claimed to have expert knowledge of Peru and Chile, and contacts with disaffected colonists and indigenous peoples. Don Carlos’s written proposals to King Charles II and his ministers, only recently discovered, are here translated from Spanish, and give a clear sense of the character, if not the real identity, of an adventurer, who gave the authorities in England, Chile and Peru totally different and changing stories about his status and the purpose of the voyage.

Roy Bridges, ed., A Walk Across Africa / J. A. Grant’s Account of the Nile Expedition of 1860-1863.

This exceptional new edition of Grant’s 1864 book, A Walk Across Africa, provides the opportunity to re-examine the role of the author, who emerges as a far more impressive and important figure than has previously been recognised. Rather than being no more than a loyal second-in-command to John Hanning Speke, Grant was a trained scientist who kept a detailed diary and provided, in 147 watercolours and sketches, the first visual record of large parts of East Africa. Professor Bridges draws on the extensive collection of Grant’s papers in the National Library of Scotland, and in a 66-page introduction places the expedition in its historical context, particularly with regard to exposing the credulity of previous commentators on the source of the Nile. The book is lavishly illustrated with 154 plates, 44 of them in colour, and 10 maps. It is thoroughly indexed and includes a 12-page bibliography and appendices relating to linguistics, measurements, and even a list of personal kit taken by the expedition.

This book, distributed in April 2018, is issued free of charge to members of the Society. Additional copies may be purchased from the publisher for £92 (or £35.99 as an eBook) by following this link.

Anthony Payne, ed., Hakluyt & Oxford: Essays and Exhibitions Marking the Quatercentenary of the Death of Richard Hakluyt in 1616

The contents include catalogues by Anthony Payne of the two Oxford exhibitions, at Christ Church and at the Bodleian Library, together with essays by Jim Bennett, Anthony Payne and William Poole. A5 format, viii + 104 pp., 8 colour plates.

Price £5; including postage to UK: £6.80; to other European countries: £10.35; to the rest of the world: £12.65.

The book may be ordered through Paypal, with or without a Paypal account, by clicking the ‘Add to Cart’ button below. Please make your selection for postage, then click or tap the ‘Add to Cart’ button. This will take you to the Paypal website where you may pay either as an existing Paypal account holder, or as a guest for a one-off purchase.

Hakluyt & Oxford