Corps de l’article

Despite a number of important works on the history of publishing in the eighteenth century, there has been relatively little examination of travel writing in terms of its textual histories.[1] The omission is perhaps surprising given literary critics’ recognition of the importance of eighteenth-century travel literature both in its own right, enjoying as it did considerable popularity, and as influencing other emerging genres of the period, such as the novel.[2] Yet, while the latter literary form has begun to receive some detailed attention on the importance of format to its meanings, the material forms and textual histories of travel writing have been largely neglected.[3] Nor has the re-publication history of travel writing been much studied. Although Shef Rogers notes that ‘between 10% and 15% of all travel accounts first published in the eighteenth century were reissued, most often to assert a new edition, even though little if anything had changed in the text’, there is little other analysis available.[4] Clearly, travel writing comprised a considerable volume of publications in the eighteenth century, in terms of both new works coming to the press and reissued items. Yet, despite being a fundamental part of the eighteenth-century book-trade, there has been almost no attention to the reissuing of texts or their production in new editions and how such changes affect meaning, even though, as Roger Chartier and D. F. McKenzie have famously observed, they most certainly do.[5]

William St Clair, in an appendix to his important and influential book on the ‘reading nation’ draws attention to two different scenarios for travel writing within the early nineteenth-century publishing industry.[6] On the one hand, he suggests, books had small print runs in ‘expensive editions’ with a ‘high proportion of copies of all editions’ being remaindered; on the other hand, books were normally printed in quarto and ‘if commercial interest was high’ were reprinted in octavo’.[7] Yet, while these publishing trajectories may be valid for that period, the printing history of travel books prior to that was much more complicated. As Edward G. Cox’s Reference Guideto the Literature of Travel shows it was both vast and diverse, ranging from very small books in duodecimo to enormous multi-volume, folio collections.[8] Works of British as well as foreign writers were brought to market and there were a number of translations in both directions, supplemented with fictional voyage narratives.[9] Changes in book-trade practices which reduced the initial cost of a book for an increasingly literate public, and the creation of effective means of dissemination via circulating libraries, magazines, and literary and philosophical societies, led to enormous demand for travel literature.[10] Publishers rushed to meet it and supplemented the endless stream of new material, with reissues, new editions, adaptations, plagiarisms, digests, abridgements, extensive quotations in magazines and the gathering of texts into collections. The re-release of a text provided opportunities for repackaging it and these subsequent versions were often far from innocent. The timing of reissues and new editions reflected a judgement that there was demand in the market, or a political, ideological or financial imperative. This article focuses on works of the long eighteenth century which constitute reissues, republications, new editions or versions of otherwise previously printed texts.[11] Such an examination offers insights into the motivations for the re-release of texts, the liberties taken with them and the kind of reinterpretations and re-contextualisation in which they were situated. It shows, too, how the material form of a text, its juxtaposition with other works, or its reframing with new paratextual material could change its meaning.[12]

There were numerous ways in which a text could return to the market in the hand-press period. Some, such as new editions, required printers to reset type, necessitating substantial use of the ‘new formes’ of my title. Such an arrangement offered opportunities for the re-presentation of the text, and the redesign of its paratextual and material features. Reissues, on the other hand, were ‘composed largely of sheets deriving from the original setting’.[13] For R. B. Mckerrow, there were four reasons why a reissue might occur: to indicate a ‘change in the publishing arrangements’; to ‘add new preliminary matter’; to ‘make an old book look like a new one’; or to ‘make a correction or alteration in the preliminary matter’.[14] Although the last of these was challenged by Fredson Bowers, both bibliographers agree that reissues involved the use of material that did not substantially require resetting.[15] Consequently, they might be thought of as offering little room for re-presentation of the text. Yet, such a view would be mistaken, for as Philip Gaskell notes a ‘Reissue normally involves a new or altered title-page […]; a new impression with a new title-page; and collections of separate pieces with a new general title’.[16] These changes did themselves also provide a means to present material in new ways and although reissues of eighteenth-century travel literature comply with the observations of McKerrow and Gaskell, the bibliographic focus of their analysis excludes the wider historical contexts which created the need for, and opportunities of, new title-pages or reissues. Focussing on this aspect can shed more light on the eighteenth-century book-trade in travel literature.

William Betagh’s A Voyage round the World (1728) is a book whose publication history is complex, since it appears to have involved at least two reissues. The first might be explicable simply in terms of printer’s error but even in this case the wider context suggests reasons, other than printer’s professional pride, why a reissue may have been deemed necessary.[17] Betagh’s text was first set with an error in its imprint in which the bookseller’s name was misspelt ‘Clake’ for ‘Clarke’ and the location given as ‘the Bbile’ for ‘the Bible’.[18] These errors, occurring at the foot of the page and affecting only the imprint, might be thought insufficiently significant to merit amendment. The need to correct the title-page, however, was probably exacerbated by the fact that Betagh’s narrative was a strong response to George Shelvocke’s hostile account of the same voyage, which had severely criticised Betagh, accusing him of being a ‘restless mutineer’.[19] This context also helps to explain some of the content of Betagh’s title-page. Both versions asserted the account’s validity by claiming to relate ‘the True historical Facts of that whole Affair: Testifyd by many imployd therein; and confirm’d by Authorities from the Owners’.[20] Betagh’s name appeared in large italic capitals with his title ‘Captain of Marines in that Expedition’ underneath, as if to emphasise his role in the voyage.[21] In the light of this very public spat, the reissue of the work with the corrected title-page can be read both as a matter of professional pride on the part of the printers but also as an attempt to maintain the authority of the text by the removal of careless mistakes. Seeking to defend his reputation, Betagh can hardly have wanted the first page he presented to the public to contain embarrassing typographic errors.

A second reissue, this time to accommodate a change to signature B2, arouses suspicion that the wider historical context was the reason for the release of an amended version.[22] Both versions refer to a suit in the Court of Chancery and the different issues seem to reflect the changing status of that suit. In one version Betagh claims to have

the concurring evidence of many who were aboard the Speedwell; some of which are now in London ready to speak the truth: [...] some of the chief facts are already sworn to; the affidavits being filed in Chancery, and to be seen at the office in Chancery-lane.[23]

The other version is more specific, Betagh claiming to have

the testimony of several officers of the Speedwel, particularly Mr. Hendrie the owners agent and Mr. Dod lieutenant of marines: the former a clerk now in the East-India House; and the latter an inhabitant of St. Ann's Westminster. The principal facts of Shelvocke's arbitrary mismanagements are already sworn to, the original being filed in Chancery, and to be seen at the office in Chancery-lane.[24]

This more aggressive version, commenting on 'Shelvocke's arbitrary mismanagements', provided the names and status of those prepared to support Betagh. It suggests that rather than being merely ‘ready to speak the truth’ Hendrie and Dod had now made their testimonies. These specific details move the case forward, strengthening Betagh’s claims and demonstrating that the case in the Court of Chancery is more than an idle threat. Betagh seems to have felt that this development in the law-suit merited an amendment to the text and reissue of the work.

If two reasons coalesced in the decision to reissue Betagh’s work then a similar conjunction of book-trade and wider considerations may account for the decision to reissue in 1719, the 1714 version of Henri Joutel’s A Journal of the Last Voyage Perform’d by Monsr. de la Sale, to the Gulph of Mexico.[25] The earlier edition was published by ‘A. Bell’, ‘B. Lintott’ and ‘J. Baker’ and its crowded title-page gives a long description of the work’s contents. It notes de la Sale’s search for the Mouth of the Missisipi River’, alludes to his ‘unfortunate Death’ and asserts that Louisiana had been ‘given by the King of France to M. Crozat’. It also offers a ‘Copy of the Letters Patents granted by the K. of France to M. Crozat.[26] The references to the territorial claims of the French should perhaps be read in the light of the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 in which the French had ceded many territories in Hudson Bay, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia but retained a claim to ‘all the land between French Canada and their foothold on the Gulf of Mexico at Louisiana’.[27] By 1719, however, despite, or perhaps because of, further French claims in the area, the work was reissued with a new, simplified title-page. It had now become not ‘Monsr. de la Sale’s’ voyage but Mr. Joutel’s Journal of his Voyage to Mexico and made no mention of de la Sale’s death, the search for the mouth of the Mississippi nor of French territorial claims.[28] Instead, the new title-page emphasised the unfamiliar, referring to Joutel’s Voyage to Mexico (rather than the Gulf of Mexico), his journey through ‘Forty Nations of INDIANS’ and ‘His Account of the great River MISSASIPI’ including ‘a Description of the great Water-Falls in the River Misouris’.[29] The work was now published only ‘for Bernard Lintot’, suggesting he had acquired full control of the copyright, and perhaps thought that the way to shift this unsold stock was to amend its title-page. In doing so, he shifted the geographical emphasis of the work; removed reference to the deceased La Salle; stressed the exotic and unfamiliar features; and avoided references to possibly contentious territorial claims. The changes make clear the lengths to which a publisher would go in order to sell old copies but also disclose ways in which the historical context might shape attempts at repackaging.

Reissues were not the only reason that books which were identical on the inside came to market with different title-pages, although it is not always easy to unpack the reasons for such changes. Philémon de la Motte’s Voyage pour la redemption des captifs, aux royaumes d’Alger et de Tunis (Paris, 1721) was translated by Joseph Morgan into English and published in two works, both released in 1735 – A Voyage to Algiers and Tunis, for the Redemption of Captives and A Voyage to Barbary, for the Redemption of Captives.[30] The former was printed solely ‘for T. Boreman’ and included a dedicatory epistle to ‘the Right Honourable GEORGE Lord CARPENTER’ which was signed by Morgan; the imprint of the latter read for ‘Charles Corbett [...]; John Brindley [...], John Jolliffe [...], Thomas Boreman [...] and Samuel Baker’.[31] It was ‘a reissue of the first edition [A Voyage to Algiers and Tunis], with a cancel title-page, excision of the dedication and resetting of the drop-head title of sig. B1 of the main text’.[32] The title-page of A Voyage to Barbary removed the earlier version’s reference to Morgan, replacing it with the longer imprint. In omitting the sycophantic dedicatory epistle it thereby removed all reference to Morgan in the book. Whether one edition was a pirate edition, or there was agreement – given Boreman’s involvement in the publication of both versions – to package the text in multiple ways is unclear. However, there does seem to have been a deliberate decision to remove references to Morgan and his dedication to Lord Carpenter. Whatever the reasons for this, the text seems not to have sold well because in 1736 it was reissued again, now as Several Voyages to Barbary, and claiming to be a ‘SECOND EDITION, Corrected’.[33] It was ‘Printed for Olive Payne [...]; Joseph Duke [...]; and Samuel Baker’ and the title-page used red ink to highlight particular features of the text: that it was an ‘ACCOUNT of the COUNTRY’; that it spoke about ‘Redeeming Christian Slaves; and that the maps were designed by ‘Captain HENRY BOYDE’. This version also emphasised the inclusion within the work of ‘A JOURNAL of the Late Siege and Surrender of ORAN’.[34] Perhaps these changes got the book off the shop shelves but they were purely a marketing device because, despite the claim to be ‘Corrected’, no changes had been made. Although, by the eighteenth century, the armoury of methods which publishers used to promote their books had increased and included such means as newspaper advertisements, Margaret Smith’s observation of the title-page’s role at its inception in the sixteenth century remains true for the eighteenth: that ‘whatever fell on the book’s first physical page’ was often intended as an enticement to buy the book.[35]

So far I have examined reissues of individual works but another way in which a text could have its meaning and context changed was through inclusion in a collection. The complex publishing history of John Lawson’s A New Voyage to Carolina; Containing the Exact Description and Natural History of that Country (1709) discloses two features of the way a compilation could shape the meaning of its contents.[36] Lawson’s work was first published as one of a series of tracts released in separate monthly parts from 1708-10 for a collection titled A New Collection of Voyages and Travels: with Historical Accounts of Discoveries and Conquests in all Parts of the World.[37] The individual works had separate title-pages and could stand alone or as part of the collection which was ultimately reissued in 1711 in two volumes under the slightly different title, A New Collection of Voyages and Travels, into Several Parts of the World.[38] By 1711, Lawson’s work was thus simultaneously available as an independent publication or as part of a larger collection, going under two different titles. These varied arrangements contextualised the work and its dedicatory material in different ways. As an independent work, dedicated to the ‘LORDS-PROPRIETORS OF THE Province of Carolina in America’ to whom Lawson presented ‘a Description of [their] own Country’, the work was a tract of colonial promotion.[39] After Lawson’s death, in 1712, the work was released again but now there was a move to historicise it, for it bore the title The History of Carolina Containing the Exact Description and Natural History of that Country.[40] The focus thus shifted from travel literature to history, with the emphasis on the journey being replaced by attention to the location and its past. It also switched the emphasis in the sub-title from conquest to geographical description. Incorporated into John Stevens’s collection, the work was, however, framed differently again. Here, it was positioned alongside texts which narrated voyages to the Philippines, Peru, Madagascar and Ethiopia, many undertaken by foreign nationals. This located English colonisation in North America within a context of voyaging and colonising activities of other European nationals. The effect was to imply that such action was common-place amongst western European nations. A further reduction in the distinctiveness of Lawson’s text is also evident from the dedication of the collection. Although Lawson’s dedicatory letter was retained, the whole work was subsumed within Stevens’s work and his own proffering of it to ‘The Honourable Edmund Poley, of BADLEY, in the County of Suffolk, Esq’ in order to express his own ‘Acknowledgement and Gratitude for all Favours already receiv’d’.[41] Stevens’s paratext emphasised the pre-eminence of the location of such material by stating that he sought to honour the two volumes by placing Poley’s name ‘in the Front’.[42] Doing so, subjugated Lawson’s dedication to the ‘Proprietors’ and made it serve Stevens’s more personal purpose. Finally, in a move that pre-empted the marketing of the independent work, there was a historicizing drive to Stevens’s collection. Its subtitle in 1708, positioned it as a compilation of ‘Historical Accounts of Discoveries and Conquests in All Parts of the WORLD’.[43] There was perhaps some tension between the sub-title of the collection’s title-page and that of the individual tract, with the former emphasising the historical nature of the tracts within the compilation, and the latter claiming to be the report of a ‘New Voyage.’

Reissued works then created new contexts and meanings for themselves but they did not require new formes since, other than amendments to title-pages, the bulk of the work was not reset by the compositors. I want now to look at texts which did require resetting in a new printing. Such activity gave much more scope for reshaping the work and examination of such publications shows how format, paratextual features such as marginalia and running titles, and organisational factors such as the juxtaposition of texts could create new meanings and milieus in which they were to be comprehended.

An attempt to put unusual events into historical context appears to be behind the reprinting of Heneage Finch, Second Earl of Winchelsea’s A True and Exact Relation of the Late Prodigious Earthquake & Eruption of Mount Aetna, of 1669.[44] It had originally been published in London, Edinburgh and twice in Dublin, as well as in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was clearly a popular tract.[45] The enormity of the volcano’s explosion and the destruction it caused seem to have made it particularly newsworthy and Winchelsea, an eyewitness, struggled to convey the devastation, observing ultimately ‘no Pen can expresse how terrible it is’.[46] The tract shows all the properties of a news pamphlet with its sensational title and up-to-dateness.[47] When the work was reprinted in 1775, it had a slightly different title which now positioned that explosion in a historical context. Termed An Exact Relation of the Famous Earthquake and Eruptionof Mount Aetna, or Mont-Gibello, A. D. 1669 the tract’s title dropped the phrase ‘late, prodigious’ with its emphasis on the recent and the explosion’s enormity and replaced it with ‘famous’, implying acceptance of the status of the event, an attitude endorsed by the additional removal of ‘true’.[48] This movement from news to history was also evident in two other aspects of the later publication: the addition of a sub-title which termed the 1669 explosion ‘one of the greatest recorded in History’, and the tract’s combination with another work describing ‘The Last Great Eruption’ and ‘a Journey to The very Summit of Mount AETNA’, in 1766.[49] The presentation of the original tract, despite retaining the original text, was now preceded by an untruthful, and somewhat illogical, Advertisementwhich claimed both that the work was republished and that it had never previously been printed:

The curious Contents of the following Republished Pamphlet, may be considered as the more valuable, the whole having never that we know of been communicated to the Public in Print elsewhere, not excepting even the Philosophical Transactions’.[50]

Overall, the drive of the reprinted version was to place the event in an historical perspective, to emphasise the scarcity of the pamphlet and to compare the explosion with a later, more recent eruption, arguably to contextualise that later event. As such, we can see a move from news pamphlet to historical document not by means of a change in text but by amendment to the title-page, the addition of an advertisement and the work’s combination with a later pamphlet. The 1669 eruption was no longer news, it was history with which to compare the eighteenth-century eruption and the tract had value not because of the currency of its news but because of its scarcity.

The emphasis placed on reviving hard-to-obtain narratives was made, justly, in another eighteenth-century collection, A Collection of Voyages and Travels (1745).[51] ‘Printed for and Sold by’ Thomas Osborne – and probably gathered and edited by him – this important two-volume, folio collection included full reprints of a number of texts which had been in the Earl of Oxford’s library and dated from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The collection was highly significant for a number of reasons. It published in the most prestigious format, folio, works which had previously been released in smaller, cheaper ones. In doing so, it made a claim for their importance and the compilation sought to sit alongside other large, multi-volume travel collections such as Awnsham and John Churchill’s A Collection of Voyages and Travels (1704; enlarged editions in 1732 and 1744-46) to which the two volumes of Osborne’s collection were added in a 1747 reissue.[52] Such collections were often prefaced by extended introductory discourses on topics such as geography, navigation, and travel and Osborne’s was no exception. It also included a list of contents with a short description of each work and gave individual tracts their own brief introduction.

The paratextual and organisational features of Osborne’s collection demonstrate ways in which books could be newly configured without an alteration in the language of their main text. Bringing together books which had previously been published separately in earlier centuries demonstrated the variety and geographical spread of travellers from those earlier periods in a way that was not easily comprehensible when the works were published individually. This diversity offered, the editor claimed, ‘Instruction in Cosmography’ and ‘advantageous Knowledge of the separate Government, Revenue, Strength, Religion, Customs, Interests, Products, Trade, Commerce and Navigation of each Country’.[53] The collection of narratives about different locations within one book enabled comparisons between them. As the title-page emphasised, ‘ASIA, AFRICA, AMERICA, EUROPE’ were all represented and the work was ‘DIGESTED according to the PARTS of the WORLD, to which they particularly relate’.[54] Thus, the reader progressing sequentially through the book could move around the world geographically in an organized way with a facility not possible when the tracts were published separately.

Nor was it just geographically that order was imposed, for the editor was also able at times to provide a chronological sequence. This was especially true of a series of separate pamphlets which were brought together to create a narrative of the Dutch and British responses to the Amboyna affair.[55] In 1623 Anglo-Dutch rivalry there came to a head over the execution by the Dutch, on charges of spying, of ten English merchants and factors based in Amboyna. The incident had long-lasting and high-level implications as the Dutch and English East India Companies published a series of pamphlets each putting forward their side of the dispute and responding to the other’s pamphlets. The events were discussed at the highest level, with the British Ambassador to the Netherlands making representations to the Dutch, and the British Government at times both supporting and obstructing publications. Discontent about the incident rumbled on into the early eighteenth century, partly courtesy of John Dryden’s Amboyna, written in 1673.[56] Osborne’s collection brought together the tracts from both sides and published them in chronological order but his presentation of them was far from neutral. In explaining the relationship between two of the six pamphlets, the editor observed that the Dutch version of events in one pamphlet ‘was so far from appearing to be a just vindication of that most perfidious action, that it was immediately confronted with [an] unanswerable reply’.[57] He also commented that the Dutch account was ‘full of false and forged suspicions and fraught with ridiculous absurdities, contrarieties, and contradictions’.[58] The historicising bent of the collection in which tracts were recovered from oblivion and placed in sequence to give them a sense of narrative did not, therefore, extend to impartial representation of the pamphlets. Rather, they were a vehicle for continued partisan perspective on the affair. Nor was this just a question of passing judgement on the strength of the argument put forward in each document. Osborne’s editor continued the nationalist sentiment by complaining of the ‘insult and damage’ caused by the Dutch and grumbling that it had ‘never been yet repaired’, even though in fact, implicitly at least, reparation had been made by the 1654 Treaty of Westminster.[59] That sense of injustice was, arguably, strengthened by the inclusion of the Amboyna pamphlets within a wider collection of voyages. This is because Osborne’s book, despite its nationalist sympathies, cannot be dismissed as myopically partisan. It speaks positively about the voyaging achievements and the quality of narratives of other nations, for example, praising Francois Bernier, the French traveller, for his unsurpassed, ‘knowledge, candour, and integrity’ and Antonio Galvano, the Portuguese writer, for his ‘piety towards God, equity towards men, fidelity to his prince, love to his country, skill in sea affairs, experience in history, liberality towards his native country, vigilance, valour, wisdom and diligence’.[60] Osborne’s collection aroused nationalist sympathies in a number of ways. Paratextual commentary stimulated a sense of injustice; sequencing in which an English pamphlet was placed last so as to have the final word implied who won the argument; and juxtaposition and arrangement within a collection gave a wider context and added weight to the criticism of the Dutch. Overall, by these means and without any changes to the texts themselves, the collection created its own rhetoric.

The inclusion of Antonio Galvano’s tract The Discoveries of the World within Osborne’s collection provides an opportunity to compare the ways in which this sixteenth-century work was represented in larger eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century compilations, as it was also incorporated in two later works: as an Appendix in James Stanier Clarke’s The Progress of Maritime Discovery from the Earliest Period to the Close of the Eighteenth Century (1803) and in Hakluyt’s Collection of the Early Voyages, Travels, and Discoveries of the English Nation (1809-12).[61] An English translation, in small quarto format, Galvano’s work was published by Richard Hakluyt with copious additional marginalia in 1601.[62] Key to the decision to publish was the text’s small size. In 1598-1600, Hakluyt had released the second edition of his The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation.[63] It was a large, three-volume folio covering the travel literature and associated documents of the English nation, supplemented with narratives from foreign nationals, to all parts of the world and extending over some 1600 years. Its size made it unwieldy, as Hakluyt acknowledged in his introduction to Galvano’s work:

While I went about to publish our English Voyages and Discoveries, I was advised by master Walter Cope, a gentleman of rare and excellent parts, to draw them into a short sum, adding that in his opinion that course woulde proove most acceptable to the world, especially to men of great action and employment.[64]

Hakluyt explained that such a way of proceeding had not been possible with The Principal Navigations but claimed instead that Galvano’s work was a form of proxy – ‘a briefe Treatie most agreeable to the same’.[65] Its relatively small size and the fact that it contained ‘infinite riches in a little room’ were key motivations for publication. It was somewhat ironic, then, that in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it was reprinted in large, multi-volume collections and works, just the sort of expensive and unmanageable texts that Cope had complained about. Perhaps not surprisingly this change in format reflected differences in attitude. In the original version, Hakluyt pointed out to Sir Robert Cecil, to whom he dedicated the work, (and of course also to all readers of the dedicatory epistle) that if they took a ‘mappe of the world’ and cast their eye over it ‘from the Açores and Madera in the West, to the Molucoes, the Philippinas, and Japan in the East’ they would

finde by order, who were the first discoverours, conquerours and planters in every place: as also the natures and commodities of the soyles, togither with the forces, qualities, and conditions of the inhabitants.[66]

For Secretary of State Cecil, engaged in promoting the national interest, Hakluyt claimed, the book provided not only information about imperialist activities but also targets for mercantile ventures along with a less innocent knowledge of the military strength of the indigenous populations. The work also acted as a model. Once English voyages had proved ‘more profitable to the adventurers’ then their narratives too would be ‘fit to be reduced into brief epitomes’ like Galvano’s.[67] Thus, the text stood as an historical work about the history of navigation, a handbook for colonialists and as a literary model – one which was to be widely adopted in the eighteenth century.

The treatment of Galvano’s text in the later collections modified the initial purposes of the earlier edition, even though the text itself was maintained.[68] Osborne’s edition emphasised the preservation of the text and its republication became an opportunity to praise Hakluyt not only for this work but also for his Principal Navigations. In Hakluyt’s Collection reprinting the book was a means to bring together the whole corpus of works with which Hakluyt was associated – not only those that went out under his own name, such as The Principal Navigations – but also those with which he was otherwise involved. This publication project was an attempt to re-establish Hakluyt and his work, for it was the first full reprinting of Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations since 1600. Its purpose and timing can perhaps be gauged from its inclusion of an extract from ‘OLDYS’S BRITISH LIBRARIAN, 1738’ in which Oldys commented on the general disappointment that The Principal Navigations had been allowed to become ‘scarce and obscure’ through a failure to reprint it.[69] Oldys had continued that prospective readers would have to ‘wait for the return of that spirit, which animated the gallant adventurers recorded therein to so many heroic exploits’.[70] By publishing the work in full with the extract from Oldys’s account, the editor of Hakluyt’s Collection implied that the start of the new century, amid the struggle with France in the Napoleonic wars, marked a period when the heroic exploits recorded in Hakluyt’s publications were being emulated. The exploits of the Portuguese recorded by Galvano could, perhaps, be contextualised against the background of the Anglo-Portuguese efforts in the Peninsular War against the French. Either way, the printing of the Galvano text was part of an exercise in the recovery of Hakluyt and his reputation and the whole collection fed into a sense of nationalism. That said, it was ironic that the work should capitalise from Hakluyt’s prefatory material precisely that part of it which spoke about the size and usefulness of Galvano’s text:


Whereas Hakluyt had written this in a relatively small quarto, it was now, in some versions, included in a five-volume set in conjunction with the very work – The Principal Navigations – that Cope had originally complained about as too bulky. Indeed, that complaint was itself printed on the same page as this highlighted comment about the convenience of the text’s small size.[72] Although there was no change in the words themselves, the use of capital letters to highlight the small size of the pamphlet in the large five-volume edition drew seemingly unwitting attention to an incongruous disparity between the format of the original publication and this republished version. Such was the price of trying to revive in ‘250 copies printed on royal paper and 75 on imperial’ the reputation of a forgotten author in the interests of nationalist sentiment.[73]

If the edition printed for Evans, MacKinlay and Priestley was an exercise in rejuvenating Hakluyt and creating a sense of the man and his works, then Clarke’s treatment of Galvano was different again. He seems to have plagiarised Osborne’s version since he reproduces verbatim the brief introduction with which Osborne’s editor had preceded the text.[74] Yet, Clarke’s main work was a narrative told in his own voice rather than a collection of texts. Now, the Galvano was relegated to an Appendix as a supporting document for Clarke’s narrative; though it was one of the ‘scarce Tracts’ referred to in the preface, the raison d’être for its inclusion was but ‘to elucidate the preceding pages’.[75] Galvano’s work was not now valued in its own right but as an example of the kind of authority on which Clarke’s work drew. This was some distance from the eulogizing intention of Hakluyt’s Collection.

It was not just the location within the work, however, that demonstrated the different views of Galvano’s book taken by these two collections, for their attitude is also revealed in their running titles and treatment of marginalia. Both of these paratextual features were used in Hakluyt’s original edition for important hermeneutic purposes. The running titles carefully distinguished between parts of Galvano’s work while the marginalia noted literary sources, highlighted commodities and their locations, and drew attention to navigational and geographical information of use to travellers and traders.[76]Hakluyt’s Collection faithfully reissued these marginalia; Osborne’s and Clarke’s, by contrast, retained only the references to scholarly sources. This policy also undermined one of Hakluyt’s patriotic practices, for he was acutely aware of an absence of English presence in Galvano’s account.[77] However, noting that it contained only four mentions of English navigational achievements he nevertheless used the marginalia to draw attention to each of these.[78] Through marginalia he made the best he could of the little information there was about English navigation. Perhaps in keeping with their sense of nationalist spirit, the edition published for Evans, MacKinlay and Priestley retains this practice, but in Clarke’s and Osborne’s editions this emphasis was lost.

It was also through the use of the headline space of the book that the different versions revealed their attitude towards the text. In the original edition, Hakluyt used this space to draw distinctions between the two parts of the work. Signatures B3v – D3r read ‘The ancient Discoveries’ on the verso and ‘of the World.’ on the recto. The subsequent pages from D4v – O3r read ‘The late Discoveries’ on the verso and ‘of the World.’ on the recto. As such they marked the division between the two parts, the former dealing with the development of navigation up to 1405 and the latter covering the period from 1415, the date of the first Portuguese incursions into Africa. Osborne’s collection followed suit, respecting the original independence of the work and its divisions.[79] However, the two works of the nineteenth century subsumed this originally independent work into their larger publications. Thus Hakluyt’s Collection has running titles that read on the verso ‘VOYAGES, NAUIGATIONS,’ followed by a space and then in the centre margin, ‘Ancient Discoueries’ while the recto reads ‘of the World.’ before a space and then ‘TRAFFIQUES, AND DISCOUERIES’. This arrangement is followed by pages in which ‘Ancient Discoueries’ is replaced with ‘Late Discoueries’ and retaining the surrounding words.[80] These running titles thus sought to maintain the originals but also to make explicit that the Galvano book was part of Hakluyt’s larger publication. The title of Hakluyt’s largest work is used as a container for Galvano’s running titles which are in a smaller font and hold a less eminent position on the page. These paratextual features are deployed to suggest that Galvano’s work should be regarded as part of Hakluyt’s larger collection. The incongruent nature of appending or incorporating a work which treats of Portuguese voyages within a collection mainly intended to record English maritime history was subservient to the larger ambition of establishing a corpus of Hakluyt’s work. Despite this, that edition, at least, paid lip service to Hakluyt’s original edition; Clarke was at once less and more respectful. Less so, in that rather than letting the running titles of the original stand, Clarke’s work used the space to give a title to Galvano’s work. The pages containing the tract were headed ‘GALVANO’S PROGRESS OF’ on the verso and ‘MARITIME DISCOVERY’ on the recto.[81] The edition thus completely overrode the setting of the original, making it entirely subservient to Clarke’s own work but simultaneously revealing Clarke’s debt to Galvano. Neither Galvano nor Clarke sought to publish primary accounts of the voyages but rather to provide a summary digest of them. By paralleling in the running title the main title of his own publication, Clarke made manifest the intellectual debt he owed to the earlier writer for the framework and concept of his book.

These examples have shown the importance of going beyond the summary information evident in so many library catalogues about reissues and ‘another edition’ which more often than not conceals as much as it discloses. For, while it is easy to dismiss reissues as the product of typographic errors or the need to shift unsold stock, it is clear that the changes made to title-pages or the repackaging of texts within collections often revealed much more than just the financial imperatives of booksellers or printers’ pride. No doubt these were important motivators, but reissues often demonstrated sensitivity to historical events, the political climate or a change in perception about how works could be received. Combining texts into collections gave them an historical context and could turn news pamphlets into history. These changes were significant but they were exceeded by the alterations made to texts when they were reprinted. Amendments to format had implications about the status and importance of tracts, while their placement in larger works enabled them to be presented in a different ways – as part of an author’s corpus of work; as an element of a wide-ranging compilation of tracts covering four continents; or as supporting document for a grand narrative. Collections also enabled the juxtaposition of texts which gave them different nuances: they could acquire a different temporal perspective, changing the historical timeframe in which they were viewed, or be united with works with which they were in dialogue. Through this process, new narratives were created and their purposes could range from serving a nationalist agenda to flattering a patron. Finally, it was not just their juxtapositions that initiated new meanings; the inclusion and deletion of paratextual features such as introductions, dedicatory epistles, marginalia and running titles provided an opportunity to shape the perception and reception of reprinted materials. Thus, in the long-eighteenth century, though reissued and reprinted texts did not change the linguistic contents of the main body of a book, they did change their meaning: in all sorts of ways, they ‘reformed’ them.