Hungers Prevention: by MARKHAM, Gervase (1568?-1637).

dedicated to the ‘noble lords... and adventurers’ of the Virginia plantation
MARKHAM, Gervase (1568?-1637).

Hungers Prevention: or, The whole art of Fovvling by Water and Land. Containing all the secrets belonging to that art, and brought into a true forme or method, by which the most ignorant may know how to take any kind of fowle, either by land or water. Also, exceeding necessary and profitable for all such as travell by sea, and come into uninhabited places: especially, all those that have anything to doe with New Plantations. By Gervase Markham. London, Francis Grove for Martha Harrison, 1655.

SECOND EDITION. 8vo (135 x 85 mm), pp. [xvi] including the woodcut frontispiece, 285, [1], woodcut initials and pictures throughout the text, some browning in text, in contemporary sheep, later spine label lettered ‘Fowling’, slightly rubbed with some small worm damage and rubbing to boards and extremities, contemporary annotation, possibly shelf mark, to title-page, both pastedowns sprung but still present, with the early ownership inscription of ‘J. Cooke Gaiborough’ to the verso of the upper board.

A lovely unsophisticated copy in a contemporary binding of an important seventeenth century title, first published in 1621. Extensively illustrated with woodcuts, this is the first English treatise devoted to bird-catching and contains descriptions and illustrations of the necessary equipment, including nets, springs, hounds and guns. Particular details are given on decoys, elaborate water-fowl traps and the training and grooming of hounds and ‘water doggs’, as well as on the different kinds of nets etc used to trap each species. Chapter XII, ‘Of the taking of Hawkes of all kindes and all Ages’, contains striking woodcut illustrations of the Haggard Falcon and the Goshawke (pp. 182-183).
As mentioned on the title-page, the work was published both for use at home and in the newly established colonies of America. The second dedication is addressed ‘To all the most Worthy and Noble Lords, Knights, Gentlement, and Merchants, Counsellors, and adventurers for the blessed plantation of Virginia’.
A hands-on volume, with step-by-step practical tips, this is a work that would have been widely used in the field and as such is more commonly found heavily restored or in modern bindings. This is a delightful survival in a simple, seventeenth century binding.

Wing M657; ESTC r12445; Swerdt, Hunting, Hawking and Shooting, II, 12; F. Poynter, A Bibliography of Gervase Markham, p. 135.

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