(downloaded July 2005)

"PIETRO DELLA VALLE (1586-1652). Viaggi ... La Turchia, La Persia, e L'India. Rome: Vitale Mascardi, 1650-1663. 3 parts in 4 volumes, 4° (229 x 163mm). Engraved device on title-page, woodcut tail-pieces and initials, 5 full-page plans (without the engraved portrait sometimes found in volume III, a few old repairs including to vol. 2 title, very small wormtrack in first gathering of vol. IV, light marginal soiling and light scattered spotting mainly in vol. I). 18th-century speckled calf, spines gilt, contrasting calf label, red sprinkled edges (small chips at spine head, very light rubbing, joints of vol. I just starting). Provenance: J. Carlisle (inscription on titles in an 18th-century hand).

FIRST EDITION. Notable for its thorough descriptions of Persia and western India, Valle's text is composed of 54 letters to the Naples physician Schipano written during his extensive travels. 10 of these are dated from Constantinople and 18 are dated from Persia. Valle left Venice in 1614 on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land; from Sinai he travelled through Damascus, Aleppo, and Baghdad into Persia where he spent some time at the court of Shah Abbas. En route he married the Circassian Setti Manni who accompanied him on his travels, but died at Persepolis in 1622. Valle had her body embalmed and brought her, and her Georgian maidservant, along with him on his eastward travel to Calicut. He returned from Goa to Muscat and Aleppo by way of Basrah, eventually reaching Rome in 1626. Cobham-Jeffery p. 15; Rohricht 947; Tobler p. 95; Weber II, 250; cf. Atabey 1269 and Blackmer 1712 (French edition)."