Bibliographic notes: Thomas Pennant’s Outlines of the Globe (1798-1800)

Pennant, Thomas, 1726-1798.  Outlines of the globe  The view of Hindoostan. … . Western Hindoostan. (London : printed by Henry Hughs, M.DCC.XCVIII. [1798]) This is a quarto-sized work in four volumes.

Trying to sort out the relationship of these volumes to one another, however, is a challenge.

On the half-title page, the volumes are titled:

  1. Outlines of the Globe vol. I
  2. Outlines of the Globe vol. II
  3. Outlines of the Globe vol. III
  4. Outlines of the Globe vol. IV

But on the full title page, they are titled, respectively:

  1. The View of Hindoostan. Vol. I. Western Hindoostan
  2. The View of Hindoostan. Vol. II Eastern Hindoostan.
  3. The View of India Extra Gangem, China, and Japan. Vol. III.
  4. The View of the Malayan Isles, New Holland, and The Spicy Islands. Vol. IV.

In the case of the first two, the volume number seems to correspond both to its own title (i.e., The View of Hindoostan, in two parts) and the over-arching series (Outlines of the Globe, vols. 1 and 2) This is complicated by the fact that, in his “Advertisement” (Vol. I, pp. i-v) Thomas Pennant writes that

“These Two Volumes are composed from the XIVth and XVth of my Outlines of the Globe.”

That is, there is another work (his own in manuscript, he goes on to explain) called Outlines of the Globe, and from it, he has chosen volumes XIV and XV as the first two to be published in print, in a series which will also be called Outlines of the Globe. In their new, public life, these are renumbered I and II.

In the case of Vols. III and IV, the volume numbers seem to correspond only to the overarching series. That is, “The View of India…” and “The View of the Malayan Islands…” are the titles of vols. III and IV of the Outlines of the Globeseries. I don’t think the ESTC catalog record for this work gets this quite right. In this record,

Outlines of the Globe

is given as the uniform title, which seems right. But all four volumes are cataloged under the title

The view of Hindoostan. … . Western Hindoostan.

which is certainly wrong. Also wrong (or partly wrong) is the Publisher/Year information, given for all four volumes as 

London : printed by Henry Hughs, M.DCC.XCVIII. [1798]

This is true for vols. I-II, but not for vols. III-IV, which were printed by Luke Hansard, M.DCCC. [1800]

Volumes I, III, and IV have a copper engraving map tipped in after the errata page, illustrating the area of the globe covered by the volume. The maps are custom engravings for this work. For Volumes I and III, the engraver is W. Palmer. For Vol. IV, it is B. Baker. The scale of this map is much smaller (more manageable, from the perspective of the person carefully opening the brittle book) than in Volumes I and III.

Volumes I and II contain tipped in engravings, including one colored engraving of a horned turkey.

Volumes III and IV, published after Thomas Pennant’s death, by his son, David, have no plates.

The binding is consistent on all four volumes. Maybe 19th century? The pages have been trimmed and there is a speckled pattern on the fore-edge

The covers are boards covered in leather (?) with some kind of marbling on it. It is badly disintegrating and the marbling helps to disguise the damage on the covers–deliberate?

There is gold tooling on the spine and around all three edges of the boards. It seems clear that the four volumes were bound as a set, but don’t know if they were sold that way, or if they were sold separately and bound later. The different printer–and the seller identified in Vols. III-IV–suggests that they were bound later.

Volume 1:

collation formula: 4o a4 b4 (B-Mm)4 Nn2 (maps and plates inserted throughout)

page sequence: [10] 5 [11] [foldout map] [1] 2-60 [2] 61-82 [2] 83-106 [2] 107-108 [2] 109-158 [2] 159-236 [2] 237-263 [15]

Difficult to tell if Pennant actually made these travels (or even if he is claiming to have made them). He is writing a history.

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1 Response to Bibliographic notes: Thomas Pennant’s Outlines of the Globe (1798-1800)

  1. Rebecca W. says:

    I’m still thinking about how to tell a more colorful/interesting story here. I am fascinated by the idea of the series that never came to be…on the other hand, there is a lot of really cool stuff inside this book that gets totally missed if I focus on the problems of how volumes are numbered. Surely engravings of sea snakes are to be preferred! Keeping my notes and thoughts in this post, but hoping to put together something more presentation-y tomorrow.

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