the first canadian coffee table book, but with substance.
HERIOT, George. Travels through the Canadas, Containing a Description of the Pictureque Scenery on Some of the Rivers and Lakes; With an Account of the Productions, Commerce, and Inhabitants of Those Provinces. To Which Is Subjoined a Comparative View of the Manners and Customs of Several of the Indian Nations of North and South America. London, T. Gillet for Richard Phillips, 1807.
4to. Modern half-calf over marbled boards, spine with raised bands and red morocco lettering-piece; pp. xii, 602, , folding tinted aquatint frontispiece of Quebec by J. C. Stadler after Heriot, hand-coloured folding map, 25 tinted aquatint plates by F. C. Lewis, Cartwright, and J. C. Stadler after Heriot, 5 folding, one etched plate by Warner,without the final leaf of advertisements, as usual; some light browning and offsetting affecting text, small paper flaw affecting 2X2, tears on 3A3 and 3I2 (repaired), frontispiece a little creased and trimmed at margin affecting caption, one plate frayed at lower margin; a very handsome copy.
First edition. In his position as postmaster-general of British North America (which he held from 1799 until 1816), Heriot travelled extensively through Canada and the United States. The text gives interesting accounts of the fur trade, loyalist settlements, northern travels, the cod fisheries and detailed descriptions of Indian cultures, including Father Rasles's vocabulary of the Algonquin languages, and, due to the range and interest of the material contained, the work has been judged 'the most complete description of British America which has ever been published' (Hill). A student of Paul Sandby, Heriot was an accomplished artist and the watercolour sketches which he made on these journeys form the basis for this work's illustrations: indeed, 'this is the earliest and most important aquatint book published on Canada' (Hill).
Brunet III, col. 114; Cox II, p. 179; Hill 801; Lowndes p. 1051; Sabin 31489.