Catalog Archive
Auction 125, Lot 931

"Narrative of the Travels of and Adventures of Monsieur Violet in California, Sonora & Western Texas",

Subject: Exploration and Surveys, Southwestern United States

Period: 1843 (published)


Color: Black & White

4.5 x 6 inches
11.4 x 15.2 cm

This scarce book is the Leipzig edition of a fictionalized account of Captain Marryat's travels in the Southwest. Wagner-Camp states "the narrative is interspersed with long passages having little to do with the main story but serving as a means for Marryat to denounce Texas and the Texans." Maarryat calls Texas "the resort of vagabonds and scoundrels, wholly destitute of principle and probity." Like the entire book, the frontis map is "Obviously fiction, and a map which must have produced many a chuckle on the part of its author" said Carl Wheat. The map extends from Fort Halle in the east to the Pacific coast at Triniday. The Buenaventura River is the largest in the west, originating from the Le Grand Serpent and L'Enfer mountains. On the coast a note says "Found here the remains of a Lizard of the Basilaurian species 80 feet long." Another in the Southwest identifies the precise location of "ruins of Cities or Villages Obelisks, Pyramids, Walls, Round Tower the whole build of yellow brick." Not completely fictitious, the map also shows portions of the Snake and Ogden Rivers. Wheat believes this "flight of fancy" most certainly drew from Arrowsmith's map, obviously prior to its to being reduced to cartographic parody. Hardbound in marbled paper, cloth spine with gilded titling, map, 384 pages.

References: Wheat (TMW) #466; Wagner-Camp #97.

Condition: B

Map and text with scattered foxing. Cover rubbed with paper along edge of back cover worn.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $150

Closed on 9/24/2008