New York: Harper & Brothers, 1841. Two volumes. 8vo. [ii], 424; vii, [iii], -474 pp. FIRST EDITION. With folding map, frontispiece in each volume, and 65 full-page engravings. Publisher’s cloth with gilt illustration on each cover, both volumes rebacked; minor foxing throughout, though some leaves with more spotting, most tissue guards present. Item #15186
First edition. Stephens was a pivotal figure in the rediscovery of the Mayan civilization. He here describes in detail the remarkable aspects of Mayan life, including the architecture, idols, tablets and other creations of the ancient civilization. Stephens was accompanied on his journey through Guatemala, Costa Rica and the Yucatan by the illustrator Frederick Catherwood. Stephens (1805-1852) was an American explorer, writer and diplomat. This marks the third of his “Incidents of travel” series, preceded by his first work Incidents of travel in Egypt, Arabia, Petraea and the Holy Land (1837) and Incidents of travel in Greece, Turkey, Russia and Poland (1832). This work is followed by his two-volume Incidents of travel in Yucatan (1843), like this book a classic of Meso-American and nineteenth-century travel literature.