Collecting The Broadway Travellers Series

The Broadway Travellers

The Broadway Travellers is a book series published by George Routledge & Sons, London, between 1926 and 1937.  The Series, edited by Sir E. Denison Ross and Eileen Power, included 26 titles (a number were simultaneously published by Robert McBride, New York and Harper Brother, New York under the series name, The Argonauts Series and The Broadway Travellers respectively).  Five additional works were planned for publication but were never realized.

The great age of travel and exploration from the 14th century to the 19th generated numerous travellers’ records as well as records and experiences of the traders of the great Silk Road.  The Broadway Travellers made available editions of these classic works of that great age of travel and exploration.  While certainly not available for the first time in English translation, many of the original editions were scarce and expensive at the time.

Below is the text of the “Catalog” included with every book in The Broadway Travellers series.  I created the actual booklist based on these catalogs as well as via listings for the series at the British Library and the Library of Congress.

The Broadway Travellers
Edited by Sir E. Denison Ross and Eileen Power

The Broadway Travellers is an important series, containing translations and reprints of the best travel-books drawn from all countries and all ages.  Most of the travellers are men who ventured into strange climes and some are also discoverers, but here and there a tourist, whose personality and literary merits lend him a special interest, finds his place among the more adventurous spirits.” 

“The series does not confine itself to the well-known books.  Indeed among the volumes already published are some which have never before been preprinted and some which have never before been translated.  The editors have been guided in their choice of books by two considerations-their wish to put before the English reading public works of interest hitherto untranslated, and to reissue and revive English and foreign voyages which have been unduly neglected or have become scarce (if not unobtainable).”

“The general editors are themselves both travellers and scholars.  Sire Denison Ross, Director of the School of Oriental Studies and Professor of Persian in the University of London, has travelled in Europe, Persia, Turkey, India and Central Asia.  Dr. Eileen Power, Reader in Medieval Economic History in the University of London, is the only woman to date to receive the Albert Kahn travelling fellowship with its accompanying year’s voyage round the world.” 

“Each volume is provided with an introduction by a recognized specialist and an appendix containing such notes as are necessary to elucidate difficulties in the text.” 

“The whole series is printed in Old-Face type, with the preliminary pages in two colours.  A cream antique-laid paper has been employed.  The binding is a crimson buckram stamped with a specially-designed lettering and device in gold with a coloured top.”

The New Statesman on the Broadway Travellers:

“The variety of the Broadway Travellers becomes more remarkable and refreshing with every new addition to the series.  It is difficult to imagine a more seasoned and liberal company.  From the dozen odd volumes that are already available, it is possible not only to range from Bristol to a Jesuit, a footman, or an ambassador for one’s guide.  There is a multiplicity of points of view.  One reads Cortés on the Indian, Diaz on Cortés, and Gage on the whole situation that has arisen after a hundred years are past.  There is a diverting confusion of tongues: the English denounce the Spanish, the Spanish watch the French, the Portuguese fight the Dutch, and not only is the drama of the three great centuries of discovery-the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth-revealed by the shrewdest of observers, but there are earlier men like Ibn Battúta wandering from court to court in Persia and India, and later men like Huc and Gabet finding their way to Tartary and Tibet.”

Travels and Adventures of Pero Tafur (1435-1439).  Translated and edited from the Spanish, with an Introduction by Malcolm Letts.  With 8 plates.  [“A document of unique interest.  It was well worthy of his care, since it is a picture of Europe at the most critical moment of its history, when all the Continent was overwhelmed by misery, disease, and unrest, when the old order was everywhere changing, when the distracted Empire of the East was ‘rocking to its fall.’  A cool observer, without prejudice, without excitement, Tafur noted the symptoms of decay.”  Sir Edmund Gosse, in Sunday Times.] {George Routledge & Sons, London (and Harper & Brothers, New York), 1926.  Gorgias Press 2007}

Akbar and the Jesuits.  Translated from the “Historie” of Father Pierre du Jarric, S.F., with an Introduction by C.H. Payne.  With 8 plates.  [“These documents are full of intimate interest.  The Fathers tell of a number of fascinating stories.  Strange characters pass before our eyes.  The intrigues of the mighty are revealed.  We get glimpses of truly Oriental splendor, of Oriental treachery and nobility.  And in the midst of it all move these few Jesuit Fathers, uncomprehending and incomprehensible….”  Times Literary Supplement.  “A serious and intensely interesting piece of work.  Guardian.]  {George Routledge & Sons, London (and Harper & Brothers, New York), 1926.  Low Priced Publications, Dehli, 1999.  Asian Educational Services, 1996.  Gorgias Press, 2008, Taylor & Francis-Routledge Imprint, 2004.}

Don Juan of Persia.  A Shi’ah Catholic (1560-1604).  Translated and edited from the Castilian with an Introduction by Guy le Strange.  [“The record of an intrepid Persian nobleman who undertook a special diplomatic mission to various Courts of Europe in the interest of his King.  The first Part described his native country, the second deals with the wars between the Persians and the Turks, and the third records his amazing voyage from Isfahan in 1599 to Western Europe, which exploit makes a fine story.  We are grateful to the learned editor of this book of gallant adventure.”  New Statesman.]  {George Routledge & Sons, London (and Harper & Brothers, New York), 1926.  Taylor and Francis-Routledge Imprint, 2004.  Brothers Press POD, 2007.}

The Diary of Henry Teonge, Chaplain on board H.M’s Ships Assistance, Bristol, and Royal Oak (1675-1679.  Edited with an Introduction and Notes by G.E. Manwaring.  With 8 plates.  [“Teonge was for two years a naval chaplain  his realistic descriptions of life in the old Navy are as illuminating as Smollett’s, his cheerfulness and gusto equal those of his 18th century brother-of-the-cloth, the Rev. Mr. Woodforde.  This diary is history and more can be learnt from it of actual life under Charles II than from many able academic books.”  J.C. Squire in Observer.  “It would be a fitting memorial if his book were issued to add to the jollity of every wardroom in the Fleet.”  Times Literaty Supplement.] {George Routledge & Sons, London (and Harper & Brothers, New York), 1927. Taylor and Francis-Routledge Imprint, 2004.  Kessinger Publications POD, Yoakum Press POD, Nabu Press POD}

Memoirs of an Eighteenth-Century Footman:  The Life and Travels of John Macdonald (1745-1779).  Edited with an Introduction and Notes, by John Beresford.  With 8 Plates. [“Exceedingly entertaining travels, instinct with life.”  Times Literary Supplement.  “Really a great lark and a model of genuine writing.  Arnold Bennett in Evening Standard  “Deserves a high place among autobiographies.  I can recommend this book to all biographical connoisseurs as a mirror of Macdonald’s times and of the human soul.”  Nation  “Simply packed with interest.”  Sunday Times  “This Pepysian revelation of a character that might have escaped from a novel of Fielding.”  Morning Post.] {George Routledge & Sons, London (and Harper & Brothers, New York), 1927, 2nd Printing, 1928.  Century Hutchinson Ltd, London, 1985, Taylor and Francis-Routledge Imprint, 2004}

Nova Fancia:  a Description of Acadia, 1606.  By Marc Lescarbot.  Translated by P. Erondelle, 1609.  Edited, with Introduction and Notes, by H.P Biggar.  With 2 Maps. [“The early beginnings of the French settlement of Acadia are delightfully narrated by the French avocet, Marc Lescarbot.  The Book is full of gaiety and sound information.  Lescarbot was a man of lively wit, and a practical sagacity and breadth of view far in advance of his time.”  Spectator.  “This admirable edition reveals Lescarbot to be something of a lesser-known Montaigne, and Erondelle a second Florio.”  Daily News.  “One must be singularly hard to entertain if Lescarbot fails.:  Birmingham Post.]  {George Routledge & Sons, London (and Harper & Brothers, New York), 1928.  Taylor and Francis-Routledge Imprint, 2004}

Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China, (1844-6) in 2 Volumes.  By E. R. Huc and M. Gabet.  Translated from the French by W. Hazlitt.  Introduction by Professor Paul Pelliot.  With a map.  Two volumes.  [“I have always heard of this work as being one of the most alluring travel books ever written.  I think it is. To read it is like seeing the scenes described.  The edition is admirable.”  Arnold Bennett in Evening Standard.  “One of the world’s best travel books, brought out in scholarly fashion at a price moderate for its bulk.”   Spectator.  “the work remains a classic worthy of repodution, full of stirring adventures.”  Times.] {George Routledge & Sons, London (and Harper & Brothers, New York), 1928.  Taylor and Francis-Routledge Imprint, 2004}

Clavijo’s Embassy to Tamerlane (1403-6).  Translated from the Spanish with an Introduction by Guy le Strange.  With 7 maps and plans, demy 8vo. [ “Clavijo was so keen and intelligent an observer and so lively a retailer of travel gossip that a popular edition of his work, published in an attractive form and at a reasonable price, has long been overdue….Enough has been said to indicate the quality of the remarkable book.  It is a very welcome addition to the series.”  New Statesman.  “The book is a model of what such a book should be.:  J.B. Trend in Observer.]

The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico.  By Bernal Diaz del Castillo, 1517-21.  Abridged and translated with an Introduction and Notes by Professor A. P. Maudslay.  With 15 plates and maps.  Four eye-witnesses of the discovery and conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards have left written records, but of these the present volume and the letter of Cortés are by far the most important.  [“Something more than an historical document of the first importance.  His narrative is also captivatingly readable , so that one’s interest and admiration are equally divided between the stupendous events he records and the charming revelations he makes of his own character.”  Saturday Review.  “One of the liveliest narratives in the literature of discovery.”  Times.]

Letters of Hernando Cortés, 1519-26.  Translated, with an Introduction and Notes, by F. BayardMorris.  With 8 plates and maps.  “The reader has to wonder how the deeds related could possibly have been accomplished, and marvel at the courage of such a small band of men.  These letters, well edited and attractively published, tell of a great conqueror, fearless and courageous, fighting for God and his king, and reveal the mighty proportions of the truly Elizabethan character that was Hernando Cortés.”  Times Literary Supplement.  “Cortés’ dispatches are as impressive as Caesar’s Commentaries, with a romantic thrill of their own.”  Life and Letters.

The English American:  A New Survey of the West Indies, 1648.  By Thomas Gage.  Edited, with an Introduction, by Professor A. P. Newton, D. Litt.  With 12 plates.  [“His narrative is immensely interesting.  Of all the excellent Broadway Travellers we have not read anything better than these two volumes [Gage and Cortés].  They should be bought-not borrowed-and read in conjunction.”  Saturday Review.  “These two volumes [Gage and Cortés] complement each other in a fashion both informative and exciting.  Gage draws a picture of priestly corruption and of exploitation of the natives by the Colonists.”,  New Statesman.  “Can safely be named unique and can never quite lose it value.”  Time Literary Supplement.]

The True History of Hans Staden, 1557.  Translated, with an Introduction , by Malcolm Letts.  With numerous woodcut reproductions.  [“The Broadway Travellers contains few more exciting stories than that of Staden.”  Sunday Times.  “The present translation of his adventures among the Brazilian cannibals, with which the gruesome original woodcuts are included, now make Staden’s story available to a larger public, and the story warrants it, not only because of its sensational qualities.”  New Statesman.]

Travels in Persia, 1627-9.  By Thomas Herbert.  Edited and abridged by Sir William Foster, C.I.E., with an Introduction and Notes.  With 13 plates.  “He traversed a great part of Persia.  He had a good eye for detail and a great appetite for information.  He was curious about everything; men, history, animals, plants, and scenery.  Often he was inaccurate, but he was never false, and his style is interesting.  His was one of the best of seventeenth century travel narratives, and became immediately popular on publication.”  Times.  “This delightful classic.”  Saturday Review.

Travels of Ibn Battúta, 1324-54.  Translated from the Arabic, selected, and edited by H.A.R. Gibb, with an Introduction.  With 8 plates.  [“One of the most fascinating travel- books of all time.”  Times Literary Supplement.  “He had a sure taste in the choice of incidents and was a finished master of narrative.  His writing never strays from simplicity not his commonsense from the great fact of the oneness of human nature.  The entire book, beautifully translated, has intense interest.  The account of the court of the Sultan at Delhi is as exciting as anything of the kind I ever read.”  Arnold Dennett, in Evening Standard.]

Memorable Description of the East-Indian Voyage, 1618-25.  By William Y sbrantsz Bontekoe.  Translated from the Dutch by Mrs. C. B. Bodde-Hodgkinson and Professor Pieter Geyl, Lit.D., with an Introduction and Notes by the latter.  With 10 plates.  “The object of this admirable collection is to give us travels by people not so well known as they ought to be.  Bontekoe falls admirably into the scheme.  Though Bontekoe is interesting historically, he is far more widely interesting as a narrator of the chances and changes of life at sea in those days.  Fire and shipwrecks, fights ashore and afloat, the pitting of ceaseless patience and resource against fate, these things make one understand why the book, famous in its original tongue, has but to be savoured in translations to gain an equal popularity.”  Manchester Guardian.

Travels into Spain.  By Madame d’Aulnoy, 1691.  Edited from the translation of 1692, with an Introduction and Notes by R. Foulché-Delbosc.  With 4 plates.  [“Of all literary fakes this is surely the most impudent, ingenious, and successful.  The Comtesse D’Aulnoy, author of the famous fairy tales, was never in Spain.  What was it then that gave her work the verisimilitude of an original narrative written on the spot?  Madame D’Aulnoy was not a bore.  As a writer, she had style, vivacity, and imagination.  Moreover, she was  a born traveller.  Not without reason have the editors of the Broadway Travellers included her fiction in their library of fact.  For, despite its factual falseness, it is intellectually and emotionally the real thing.:”  Saturday Review.]

Commentaries of Captain Ruy Freyre de Andrada, 1647.  Edited from the Portuguese by C.R. Boxer, with an Introduction and Notes.  With 8 plates and maps.  [“The Broadway Travellers still further consolidates its already high reputation by issuing this volume.  Andrada was a brave, hot-headed, and chivalrous Portuguese Commander who saw much service at the beginning of the seventeenth century in the Persian Gulf at a time when his countrymen controlled those waters.  The main interest of this most vivacious chronicle lies in the account it gives of the siege and capture of the island-fortress of Ormuz., which was the Portuguese Gibraltar.”  Spectator.]

Jahangir and the Jesuits.  Translated from the original of Fernao Guerreiro, S.F., with an Introduction, by C.H. Payne, M.A.  With 4 plates.  [“The Jesuits have so frequently been made the villains of Elizabethan romance that it is well to read of the good work they were doing at the other end of the world.  Jahangir is the latest volume in this adventurous and scholarly series.  Jahangir, the Kind, dallied with the idea of concession.  He would also amuse himself by pitting the dialectical skill of the Jesuit fathers against that of his Mohammedan ‘mullas.’  The book is full of splendor and strange scenes.”  Nation.]

Jewish Travellers.  Edited and translated, with an Introduction, by Elkan Adler.  With 8 plates.  [This is a selection from the most interesting narratives of Jewish travellers, beginning with the ninth and ending in the middle of the eighteenth century.  The chief object has been to give a survey of Jewish travel during the Middle Ages.  The wandering Jew is a very real character in the drama of history, travelling over the Near East as nomad, settler, fugitive, conqueror, colonist, merchant, scholar, pilgrim, mendicant, or ambassador.  This volume includes the travels of the celebrated Benjamin of Tudela.]

The Travels of Marco Polo.  Translated from the text of L.F. Benedetto by Professor Aldo Ricci.  Introduction by Sir Denison Ross.  Illustrated.  [Two years ago Professor Benedetto of Florence, brought out his great edition of the text of Marco Polo, which included much new material taken from a hitherto unknown MS., discovered by himself in Milan.  He has now prepared an Italian version based on this edition.  This is the authorized English translation of that version.  As a text, it should supersede all previous English versions.  Sir Denison Ross has supplied a short introduction, explaining the importance of Benedetto’s new edition, and giving a general itinerary of the routes followed by Marco Polio, and an index of personal and place names, sufficiently elaborate to make the text intelligible without annotation.]
Travels in India.  By Captain Basil Hall, R.N.  Edited and selected, with an Introduction, by Professor H.G. Rawlinson, Indian Educational Service.  Illustrated.  [This selection is made from Hall’s best and most abiding work, Fragments of Voyages and Travels.  These volumes, now rare and almost forgotten, will reward the fortunate reader.  In this selection the reader will find graphic and entertaining pictures of life in the Royal Navy, a wonderful panorama of India and Ceylon, including the Elephants Caves, the jungles, and, above all, events at a rajah’s court.  Hall is the ideal travel-writer.  He never wearies his readers, but makes them love him.] 

The Travels of an Alchemist:  The Journey of the Taoist Ch’ang Ch’un from China to the Hindukush at the Summons of Chingiz Khan.  Translated, with an Introduction, by Arthur Waley.  [The Taoist doctor left some of the most faithful and vivid pictures ever drawn of nature and society between the Aral and the Yellow Sea.]  {Published by George Routledge & Sons, 1931, Broadway House, Carter Lane, London. With 1 map.}

The First Englishman in India.  Edited by F. Courtenay Locke.   This volume contains letters and narratives of some of the Elizabethans who went to India.  Here can be seen the beginnings of our Indian Empire, arising out of the trading operations of the East India Company.

The Travels of Anthony Sherley.  Edited by Sir Denison Ross.  Anthony was one of the three remarkable brothers who travelled in Persia and the Near East in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  His adventures were enthralling and his personality highly romantic.  His narrative (1613) has never before been reprinted.  

Voyages of Francesco Carletti (1594-1602).  Translated from the Italian with an Introduction by Janet Ross.

Voyages and Travels of Mandelslo.  Translated and edited, with an Introduction, by Professor H. Dodwell.

*Never Published*

The New-Founde World or Antarticke.  By Andre Thevet, 1568.  Edited with an Introduction by Charles Singer, M.D., D. Litt.

Journey to the Source of the Nile, 1768-73.  By James Bruce.  Edited and abridged by Osbert Sitwell, with an Introduction.

Travels of Tenreyro and Rotta.  Edited by Sir Denison Ross.