WOOD, WILLIAM. c.1580-1639.
New Englands Prospect. A true, lively and experimentall description of that part of America, commonly called New England. London: Thomas Cotes for John Bellamie, 1635.
A-M4. , 83,  pp. Folding woodcut map: The South part of New-England, as it is Planted this yeare, 1635, 308 x 185 mm (sheet size). 4to (184 x 134 mm). Old vellum, spine lettered in manuscript. Catchword shaved on A3, map just trimmed into border on left edge.
SUPERB COPY OF THIS GREAT NEW ENGLAND RARITY, WITH THE FIRST DETAILED ACCOUNT AND MAP OF MASSACHUSETTS. SECOND EDITION. Wood's narrative is divided into two roughly equal parts. The first describes the geography, flora, fauna, and individual settlements in New England and includes a chapter of advice to voyagers. The second part describes the native tribes and contains a 5-page vocabulary (pre-dating John Eliot). This second edition is reprinted from the first edition of 1634 with errata corrected and the date changed on the map.
Wood resided in New England, probably Lynn, from 1629-1633. His prose style is unusually fresh and engaging for a book of this type. He offers details of the "hurtful things" to be found in New England, chiefly rattlesnakes and mosquitoes.
The topographical descriptions of the Massachusetts towns, in tandem with the map, offer the first detailed picture of the area. Many of the towns shown here are not present on the John Smith map and Cape Cod appears for the first time on a large scale. Church 433; European Americana 635/134; JCB II:258; Pilling, Algonquian, 535; Sabin 105075; Schwartz & Ehrenberg, p 100 (1634 map); STC 25958; Vail 89; Burden 239 (map).
Acquisition: Siebert sale, Sotheby's New York, May 21, 1999, lot 96, $51,750.