Richard Hakluyt: An essay in bibliography 1580–88
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This thesis comprises ten chapters each describing a printed book or manuscript produced between 1580 and 1588 by or otherwise associated with Richard Hakluyt (1552–1616), the advocate of overseas discovery, trade and settlement, and proponent of the publication of records of voyages, travels and geographical exploration. Providing as much primary and secondary documentation as possible, each chapter consists of two parts, the first giving formal bibliographical descriptions of the work under discussion, with accounts of its authorship, sources, publishers and other historical background, the second comprising annotated editions of its paratexts. The introduction gives a brief notice of Hakluyt’s life and career, followed by an outline of the bibliography’s scope and conventions, including references to the practical and theoretical methodological literature on bibliography and critical editing. The conclusion offers some preliminary observations and suggestions for further study building on the material presented in the thesis. The thesis is intended as the first instalment of a bibliography that will eventually describe all twenty or so books for which Hakluyt was responsible in various ways, including both editions of The Principal Navigations of the English Nation, his best known and most extensive work. The work as a whole aims to provide fuller and more sophisticated descriptions of Hakluyt’s books and their history than has previously been attempted.