Richard Hakluyt: A Bibliography 1580–1588

Richard Hakluyt: A Bibliography 1580–1588,

with Essays on the Suppression of the Voyage to Cadiz in Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations and Hakluyt and the East India Company

By Anthony Payne

Hakluyt Society, Series III Volume 42, 2024

ISBN 978 1916931008

Hakluyt, Divers Voyages (1582), Title Page
Hakluyt, Divers Voyages (1582), Title Page

Volume 42 in the Hakluyt Society Third Series is Richard Hakluyt: A Bibliography 1580–1588 with Essays on the Suppression of the Voyage to Cadiz in Hakluyt’s “Principal Navigations” and Hakluyt and the East India Company is the first in a projected three volume bibliography of Richard Hakluyt.

Richard Hakluyt (1552–1616), after whom the Hakluyt Society is named, is best known for the two editions of his great collection of travels, The Principal Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589,and 1598–1600), but between 1580 and 1614 he was also responsible in various ways – as author, editor, translator or encourager – for more than twenty other works. Much of this material described distant lands and peoples only recently encountered by Europeans, often appearing in print either for the first time or for the first time in English, and collectively these books constitute a significant contribution to the output of travel-related writing published in England during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

The present bibliography concerns the ten works, printed and manuscript, associated with Hakluyt and produced between 1580 and 1588, when he was a senior member of Christ Church, Oxford, and then chaplain to the English ambassador in Paris.  It enables us to trace not only the composition and material form of these writings and their reception, but also Hakluyt’s developing interests, his intellectual debts and milieu, the books and other sources available to him, as well as his patrons and career until the imminent publication of the original edition of the Principal Navigations in 1589. While partly an exercise in documentation, identifying sources and references as a guide to research, it goes further in attempting a study of Hakluyt’s books drawing on the various approaches to bibliography in its widest sense, bringing it into the allied field of ‘the history of the book’.

Of these ten works, Hakluyt was directly responsible for Divers Voyages touching the Discoverie of America (1582), his manuscript ‘Analysis’ of Aristotle’s Politics (1583) and Discourse of Western Planting (1584), his editions of Espejo’s explorations in New Mexico (1586) and Peter Martyr’s Decades (1587), and his translation of Laudonnière’s Notable Historie of Florida (1587).  The other four, Florio’s translation of Cartier’s discoveries in New France (1580), Pigafetta’s Itinerario (1585), Laudonnière’s L’histoire notable (1586) and Parke’s translation of Mendoza’s Historie of China (1588), were helped into print by Hakluyt. All of these are examined in full bibliographical detail, giving as much primary and secondary documentation as possible, with discussions of authorship and sources, printers and publishers, dedicatees, and subsequent editions.  This coverage is followed by extensively annotated editions of the books’ prefatory and other paratextual matter. The introduction includes a biographical notice of Hakluyt and an outline of the bibliography’s scope and conventions. The two essays provided as appendices relate to Hakluyt’s later career, one on the suppression of his account of the Cadiz raid in the Principal Navigations, the other on his connection with the East India Company.

Published price £135. Distributed free to Hakluyt Society members as part of their two volume allowance for the year 2024. Society members can buy in print and print on demand volumes at a significant discount. Join the Hakluyt Society.