Histoire de la Nouvelle France: Contenant les Navigations, Decouvertes, & Habitations Faites par les Francois es Indes Occidentales
Histoire de la Nouvelle France : contenant les navigations, decouvertes, & habitations faites par les Francois es Indes Occidentales & Nouvelle-France souz l'avoeu & authorite de noz Rois Tres-Chretiens, & les diverses fortunes d'iceux en l'execution de ces choses, depuis cent ans jusques a hui : en quoy est comprise l'histoire morale, naturelle, & geographique de ladite province : avec les tables et figures d'icelle
Paris : Chez Jean Milot, 1609
[First edition of one of the most important works on French Settlement of Canada] Octavo, 19 cm. Bound in contemporary vellum. Boards somewhat wrinkled (as is to be expected for the age). Held in custom-made, leather-backed, marbled clamshell case. xlviii, 888 pages. Regrettably, lacking the three maps. (The maps are partially supplied in facsimile for completeness.) Early note on title page. Internally, generally clean and unmarked, with a few scattered stains, and a line marked on page 718. Sabin 40169. Church, 339. Harrisse, Nouvelle France, 16.
Lescarbot (1570-1642) was a French Protestant lawyer who was part of the Arcadia expedition of 1607-1608. He spent a year in North America and saw the founding of Port Royal in Nova Scotia. He wrote this primary account of French settlement in 1609. The work was widely influential and spurred future French settlement in America. Within a year his "Histoire" was translated into English and German, six editions were printed between 1609 and 1618. The book is divided into three parts: Book 1: the voyages of Verrazzano, Laudonniere, Ribaut, and Gourgues to Florida and Durand de Villegaignon and Jean de Lery to Brazil; Book 2: the voyages of Cartier, Verrazzano, Roberval, De Monts, Poutrincourt, and the first voyages of Champlain to Canada (he met Francois Grave Du Pont, De Monts, and Champlain in person); and a description of the manners and customs of the native tribes. Lescarbot frequently visited the local Micmac (Souriquois) settlements. While in New France he explored the Saint John River and the Ile Sainte-Croix and met the survivors of the short-lived settlement at Sainte-Croix. The Histoire is a summation of what was then known about French America. His influence was significant and this work was the first great history of Canada. H. P. Biggar has called him the "French Hakluyt," and G. Atkinson proclaimed him "the best of the historians of New France."