CROKER, T. Crofton. Ed. by. The Tour of the French Traveller M. De La Boullaye Le Gouz in Ireland, A.D. 1644. [DE LA BOULLAYE LE GOUZ’S TOUR EDITION LIMITED TO 250 COPIES ONLY!]
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With Notes, and Illustrative Extracts, Contributed by James Roche, Esq. of Cork, The Rev. Francis Mahony, Thomas Wright, Esq. and the Editor. London: T. and W. Boone, 1837. Crown octavo. pp. viii, 139. With half-title. Green blind stamped cloth, title in gilt along spine. Armorial bookplate of George Bennett on front pastedown, previous owner’s signature on front endpaper. A very good copy. Very rare.
COPAC locates 6 copies only.
François de La Boullaye-Le Gouz (1623-1668/1669?), French aristocrat and extensive traveller. He published a French-language travelogue, enriched with firsthand accounts of India, Persia, Greece, the Middle East, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, England, Ireland, and Italy. It is considered one of the very first true travel books, in that it contains useful information for actual travellers. In 1644, he visited Ireland during a time of great turmoil and rebellion. “Although, like most Frenchmen, he seems to have felt the conviction of the superiority of his own nation, he was a citizen of the world; to him a chief of Ormuz and the Marquis of Ormond were indifferent, so were Bagdad and Bulgruddery - the Iran of the East and the Erin of the West”. Le Gouz spent only sixty-three days in Ireland where he travelled from Dublin to Kilkenny, then onto Limerick and Cork and then on to Cashel. He gives detailed partisan accounts along the way of the people, manners and customs: I LEFT Doublin in company with Tam Neuel (Tom Neville), an Irishman, and native of Korq (Cork), and took a passport from the Viceroy of Ireland, who was then the Earl of Ormond ... At six miles towards Limmerik (Limerick) we found a village called Fortinguesse (Fox and geese) destroyed by the war ... There remained but one house, where was an English garrison. In the evening we arrived at Racoul (Rathcool), eighteen miles from Doublin, where I saw the house of the late Lord Strafford, Viceroy of Ireland, beheaded in London. This castle belongs to his brother, who resides in Doublin, and guards it by forty English soldiers. Racoul is a large village nearly ruined by the wars ... WE left Kilkinik (Kilkenny) and arrived at Kalon (Callan), six miles on the road. On our arrival, a gentleman, named Edward Comerford, offered us his castle, where we rested, not being able to refuse so civil a request. The next day we were drenched by extraordinary rain, which obliged us to seek shelter in a castle [Lismullen], where we were well received. The master of the house came to beg us to remain some days there; we could not excuse ourselves. This nobleman was called Lord Ikerin, [Sir Pierce Butler] and was general of the cavalry of the Irish Catholics ... The second day we dined at Kilcolin Bridge (Kilcullen Bridge), where ends the English ground. We swam over a little river [The Liffey] with much trouble, carrying our clothes upon our heads; the Irish having broken the bridge during the religious wars. All this country was laid waste ...From Kork orb Korki [Cork] I came to Kingseele [Kinsale], ten miles distant, a small mercantile town, and ill built. It has an English garrison. From Kingseele I came to Johol [Youghall], thirty miles, having dined at Karabé [Carrigaline]. At the gate of Johal, I was surrounded by twenty English soldiers, who led me forcibly to the captain of the town [Lord Broghill, afterwards Earl of Orrery]; he demanded of me who I was, and after ... allowed me depart quietly ... “ See item 61 in our Catalogue 117, pencil inscription on front pastedown states: ‘only 250 Copies Printed’.
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