Paris: L'Imprimerie de la Republique, An V (1796/97). First edition thus. Hardcover. xvi, 385 pp. 2 folding maps; small quarto, contemporary full mottled calf, gilt spine, morocco lettering piece. Joints tender with short split at bottom of front joint, darkening at base of spine, else very good. Item #22077
First French edition of Thomas Howel's "A Journal of the Passage from India, by a Route Partly Unfrequented through Armenia and Natolia, or Asia Minor." (London, 1789) together with James Capper's "Observations on the Passage to India, Through Egypt, and across the Great Desert." Translator Theophile Mandar (1759-1823) was a French politician and writer - a supporter of the Revolution who was known as one of the first to enter the Bastille on July 14, 1789. At the time of publication he had held for 3 years the position of National Commissioner of the Executive Council of the French Republic. It seems more than likely that the French translation and official publication by "L'Impirmerie de la Republique" of these 2 detailed works on travel across the Middle East was intended to aid Napoleon in planning his Egyptian Campaign, which began in May, 1798. This copy from the library of V. Perdonnet with his ex-libris in gilt on front board and paper label to front pastedown. Vincent Perdonnet (1768-1850) was a Swiss-born banker whose career took him to Paris in time for the French Revolution where he was imprisoned during the Terror. He emerged to found a trading firm in Marseilles and by 1799 was the Consul and Commissioner of Commercial Relations of the Helvetic Republic, in the pay of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was also an important figure in the Vaudoise Revolution, bringing the ideals of the French Revolution to Switzerland.