A Journey In Books From Eton College Library

In early January 2019, Bonhams Knightsbridge will host a special public exhibition: Voyages: a journey in Books from Eton College Library. The loan exhibition, which is supported by Martin Randall Travel, leading experts in cultural tours, runs from Monday 7 – Friday 18 January, Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm; Sunday 13th, 11am to 3pm. Bonhams, Montpelier Street, London SW7 1HH. FREE ENTRY.

In the introduction to the exhibition catalog, the Provost of Eton College, Lord Waldegrave, writes: "This is an immensely thoughtful and subtle exhibition which I commend in the strongest possible terms to everyone who has the chance to visit it."

Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts Matthew Haley said: "Voyages draws on the school's phenomenal holdings of manuscripts, printed books and literary archives to explore historical travels. It reflects on travel not just as a physical experience but also as an act of the imagination. Classic accounts of Polar Exploration by Ernest Shackleton, for example, sit alongside a proof copy of TS Eliot's The Journey of the Magi. We are very grateful to Eton College for giving us the opportunity to host this wonderful show and to Martin Randall Travel for all their support in mounting the exhibition."

The 80 exhibits include:

• A 15th century manuscript in Greek of Homer's Odyssey, arguably the most influential work in the history of Western literature. This copy belonged to the uncle of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci, from whose first name the word America is derived.

• One of the key works of the modernist movement - Ulysses by James Joyce. The novel, which was published in 1922 in Paris to evade British censorship laws, closely follows the pattern of the Odyssey as it recounts the lives of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Daedalus on one day in Dublin in June 1904.

• A voyage round the world by the first Frenchman to circumnavigate the globe, Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, which also includes an account of the first woman to sail round the world. Jeanne Barret signed up as Jean as the botanist assistant, but her true identity came to light during the voyage.

• A fascinating traveling library once owned by Maurice Baring, an Old Etonian who was a leading man of letters in the first half of the 20th century.

• A voyage towards the South Pole, and around the world by Captain Cook. This classic account published in 1777 includes a portrait by the expedition artist William Hodges of Omai, the first Tahitian ever to travel to England.

• A late-16th century Portolan chart made in Naples by Vincentius Voltius of Dubrovnik. This is one of only 20 known such charts by Voltius known to have survived.

• Daniel Defoe's The life and strange surprizing adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, mariner by Daniel Defoe. A very early illustrated edition from the 18th century edition of the one of the world's most published books and endurably popular stories.

Please note, all images should be credited as follows: Reproduced by permission of the Provost and Fellows of Eton College.


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