Rare Books from Eton College Library to go on Exhibit in London

From January 7-18, Londoners will have the chance to see a selection of books and rarities not often in public view in an exhibition titled Voyages: a Journey in Books from Eton College Library. Hosted by Bonhams Knightsbridge and supported by Martin Randall Travel, an agency that specializes in cultural travel, the free display of eighty items focuses on far-flung locales and how people perceived the world beyond their doorsteps. "Voyages draws on the college'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," said Matthew Haley, head of books and manuscripts at Bonhams.

Travel Bookcase copy.jpgAmong the rare maps and classic explorers' accounts is this amazing travel library, owned by a twentieth-century "man of letters," Maurice Baring. (Eton College Library Lz 1-Lzz.4. Reproduced by permission of the Provost and Fellows of Eton College.)

Other exhibition highlights include: a fifteenth-century manuscript in Greek of Homer's Odyssey, which belonged to the uncle of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci; A voyage round the world by the first Frenchman to circumnavigate the globe, Louis-Antoine de Bougainville; A voyage towards the South Pole, and around the world (1777) by Captain Cook; a late sixteenth-century Portolan chart made in Naples by Vincentius Demetrius Voltius of Dubrovnik, one of only twenty such charts by Voltius known to have survived; and Daniel Defoe's The life and strange surprizing adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York.