Ogilby, John


John Ogilby (1600-1676)
From: America: Being the Latest, and Most Accurate Description of the New World
London: 1671
Copperplate engraving
Paper size: 10 1/2” x 16”, Framed size: 19 3/4” x 34”

"America" began as a translation of Montanus's "De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld": "It was Ogilby's finest foreign work; over 150 authors are credited although it is notable that Montanus is lacking. When it came to North America, particularly, he abandoned Montanus entirely for his own closer sources. His work used superior type and larger and finer paper than Montanus. It improved the Dutch issue by adding a "Table of Contents" [and] was written with a freshness and realism that the others could not elicit" (Burden). John Ogilby had led a full and interesting life even before began printing the famous series of travel books that bear his name, of which "America" is the second (preceded by "Africa" in ). He was an investor in the Virginia Company lottery, a reknowned dancer, even owning his own dancing school and dancing before the King, founder and managing director of the first theatre in Dublin. Ogilby only turned to publishing after an accident left him lame and he was no longer able to dance, and the rise to power of Oliver Cromwell made frivolities like dancing unfashionable.

Borba de Moraes [1983], p. 626; Burden 416, 417; Papenfuse and Coale, "Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland", 1608-1908, p. 11; Sabin 50089; Wing O-165.