Paris: A. & W. Galignani, 1844. First Continental edition. Second issue (? -see note below). Three octavo volumes (21cm). Contemporary quarter calf over marbled boards; xxiv,-308; xiv,-305; xiv,-341pp; 2 folding maps. 3 vols. Very Good, in a well-preserved contemporary binding with some mild abrasions to leather spines and conspicuous but not catastrophic wear to board edges. Text in English. Ownership signature to each volume of a C.W. Orne (possibly Charles W. Orne, American consular agent to China in the 1850s).
Uncommon edition of Prescott's popular history, which had first appeared in London a year earlier. The current edition, issued over the imprint of the Paris English-language bookselling firm of Galignani, appears identical in format with the Baudry printing of the same year, matching in pagination and utilizing the same maps engraved by Bentley for the London edition, but with a different title page. As both firms (Galignani and Baudry) were in the business of pirating the work of British and American authors, it is not unimaginable that one house would have purchased from the other a portion of the printing to sell under their own imprint. As to which imprint, Galignani or Baudry, represents the actual first Continental issue, we can find no ironclad bibliographical argument in either direction: Sabin and Gardiner mention only the Baudry issue, with Gardiner asserting that Baudry's was "the earliest continental edition of this title" (but not noting the existence of a Galignani edition); BAL mentions only the Galignani issue, adding in a note that the Galignani printing was on the market in Paris before the final two volumes of the American edition (Harper & Brothers, 1844) were completed. BAL 16399. SABIN 65263. GARDINER M-5 (Baudry).