O'Pinions & O'Bservations O' O'Bscure O'Briania

Return to Main Page

A Book of Voyages

From: Gary Brown (agb1@IX.NETCOM.COM)
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 09:57:37 -0800

I was browsing at the weekend through POB's 'Book of Voyages' (1947; on offer at the LA Antiquarian Book Fair for $950!) and found something in the introduction that surprised me. Maybe it's been discussed here before.....

POB rubbishes the Abbe Prevost 'Histoire General des Voyages' for its 'editorial mangling' resulting in '20 insipid volumes' of travel tales. He much prefers, and chooses from, the Churchill brothers' 'A Collection of Voyages and Travels'. (both Prevost and the Churchills are mentioned in the canon).

I do not doubt POB's judgment here, but didn't he elsewhere and later say that Prevost provided his most reliable source for the oddities and anecdotes of far-flung places?

BTW, POB first editions were being displayed for extraordinary prices at the Fair: hundred and hundreds of dollars for even the fairly recent editions: it was beyond me how a perfectly ordinary 'Yellow Admiral', unsigned, could be $130. Wicked amounts for the really early stuff: it makes me feel rich even to look at my shelf behind me!

Gary Brown
in Los Angeles
Author of a new companion volume to Patrick O'Brian's sea-tales:

From: Susan Wenger (susanwenger@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 17:54:32 -0800

The thing about "Voyages" that I liked was the glossary - he explained so many of the nautical terms that I had already encountered in the novels. I think it is interesting that he was AWARE that many readers wouldn't be familiar with those terms, so he included a glossary in "Voyages," but left us pretty much at sea in the novels, except for ther terms the youngsters explained to Stephen.

- Susan

Return to Main Page