Title: Recherches sur la geographie systematique et...
Publisher: Paris, Imprimerie de la République and Imprimerie Impériale, An VI.
Publication Date: 1813
Book Condition: Very Good
An VI  to 1813. Four volumes bound in two, quarto, 53 finely engraved copper-plate maps by L.Aubert (French, active 1782-1810) on 28 folding plates and an engraved compass rose, the text with intermittent slight spotting. All edges speckled. Spanish marbled endpapers. Bookseller label of Libraire Raymond Clavreuil to front pastedown endpaper, with engraved armorial bookplates of the twentieth: P. de la Morandière. 23 x 29 cm. Contemporary half calf and French crater marbled boards (some very slight wear, hinges slightly cracked but not unbroken and strong). Spine with raised single gilt fillet bands, triple gilt fillet bordered compartments, a gilt heraldic emblem at the foot and contrasting red and green morocco titling pieces with gilt lettering. Provenance: the bibliophile Jules Édouard Potier de la Morandière, 1813-1905, was by profession an architect. With the exception of his correspondence, the archives of La Morandière disappeared during the German invasion of 1870. First and only edition of this substantial study of the geography of the ancient world, analysing their understanding and cartogrphy from Europe and Africa to as far afield as India and the Indian Ocean. Various maps show the knowledge or imagination of early geographers such as Ptolemy, Strabo, Pomponius Mela, Herodotus and Isidore of Seville, while the text deals exhaustively with the history of geography and geographers, however obscure. As a test for example it is interesting to see that Cosmas Indicopleustes is discussed at some length. Pascal-François Gossellin (1751-1830) travelled widely through Europe as a young man, while his parents encouraged him to learn the ways of business. He joined the Royal Council of Commerce in 1784, and later the central administration under Louis XVI. He continued to travel, and developed friendships with Necker and Voltaire, both then in Switzerland. However he was always pulled towards the world of learning and especially the study of ancient geography. In 1790 he won a competition set by the Academie Royale des Inscriptions and the following year he was elected to membership. When the Revolution came he devoted himself to research for this book, analysing all the texts to which he had access. The book was published in two halves, fifteen years apart, with the second half appearing just before the restoration of the monarchy. His involvement with the world of learning included his appointment as President du conservatoire at the Bibliothèque Nationale in 1803. Brunet, II, 1673. WorldCat locates nine copies in the UK of this edition. Seller Inventory # 5217