Coryats Crudities: Selections
  • Publication Date: September 14, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554813230 / 1554813239
  • 264 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Coryats Crudities: Selections

  • Publication Date: September 14, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554813230 / 1554813239
  • 264 pages; 5½" x 8½"

The early seventeenth-century traveler Thomas Coryate’s five-month tour of Western Europe culminated in Coryats Crudities, one of the strangest travelogues published in early modern England. This edition abridges the Crudities’ more than 900 pages to a manageable size, focusing on episodes most likely to be of interest to students—such as Coryate’s descriptions of Venetian mountebanks, courtesans, and Jews; his crossing of the Alps; and his attendance at a Corpus Christi celebration in Paris.

The selection of contextual materials includes illustrations from the first edition, along with a sampling from another eccentric feature of the Crudities: a collection of mock commendatory poems making fun of Coryate and his journey.


“Philip S. Palmer’s judicious selection captures the full flavor and range of Coryate’s idiosyncratic and outlandish adventure. For the first time, this landmark text in the history of travel writing is made available in accessible format, allowing new generations of readers to appreciate its wit, energy, and carefully-constructed eccentricity. Coryate’s delight in oddities and in recounting his personal misfortunes is thoughtfully balanced in this edition against his equally important interests in exploring what could be achieved by travel and what it meant to be a tourist.” — Claire Jowitt, University of East Anglia

“From his famous encounter with a Venetian courtesan to his celebration of the Great Tun of Heidelberg; from the Palace of Fontainbleu to the clock towers of Strasbourg; and whether describing great art treasures or the peculiarities of tavern meals, Coryate is invariably entertaining and informative.… We should be grateful to Philip Palmer, whose judicious selection makes Coryate widely available for general readers, and who provides enough explanation for us to comprehend the work while allowing it to speak for itself.” — Andrew Hadfield, University of Sussex


  • Thomas Coryate
    English Travel and Travel Writing, c. 1550–1650
    A Note on the Text

Coryats Crudities

  • To the high and mighty prince, Henry, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and Rothsay, Earl of Chester, Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter, &c.
    Epistle to the Reader
    My observations of France

    • My observations of Paris
      My observations of Fontainebleau
      My observations of Lyons

    My observations of Savoy
    My observations of Italy

    • My observations of Turin
      My observations of Milan
      My observations of Mantua
      My observations of Padua
      My observations of the most glorious, peerless, and maiden city of Venice
      My observations of Vicenza
      My observations of Verona
      My observations of Brescia
      My observations of Bergamo

    The beginning of my observations of Helvetia, otherwise called Switzerland

    • My observations of Zurich, in Latin Tigurum, the Metropolitan city of Switzerland
      My observations of the baths of Baden
      My observations of Basel, in Latin Basilea

    My observations of some parts of high Germany

    • My observations of Argentina or Argentoratum, commonly called Strasbourg the Metropolitan city of Alsatia
      My observations of Baden
      My observations of Heidelberg
      My observations of Speyer
      My observations of Moguntia otherwise called Moguntiacum, but commonly Mainz
      My observations of Franckford

    The beginning of my observations of the Netherlands

    • My observations of Colonia Agrippina commonly called Cologne
      My observations of Dordrecht
      My observations of Vlyshingen commonly called Flushing, but in Latin Flissinga

In Context

  • A. Paratextual Materials from the 1611 Edition of Coryats Crudities
    1. Laurence Whitaker, “Certain opening and drawing distiches, to be applied as mollifying cataplasms to the tumors, carnosities, or difficult pimples full of matter appearing in the author’s front, conflated of stiptike and glutinous vapours arising out of the Crudities: the heads whereof are particularly pricked and pointed out by letters for the reader’s better understanding”
    2. Ben Jonson, “Here follow certain other verses, as charms to unlock the mystery of the Crudities”
    3. Ben Jonson, “Character of the famous Odcombian, or rather Polytopian, Thomas the Coryate”
    4. Ben Jonson, “To the Right Noble Tom, Tell-Troth, of his Travails, the Coryate of Odcombe, and his Book now going to travel”
    5. Thomas Coryate, “An Introduction to the ensuing Verses”
    6. Selected “Panegyricke Verses” from Coryats Crudities
      • a. John Donne, “Incipit Joannes Donne”
        b. John Donne, “In eundem Macaronicon”
        c. Laurence Whitaker, “Sonnet composè en rime à la Marotte”
        d. Hugh Holland, “To Topographical Typographical Thomas”
        e. John Hoskins, “Incipit Joannes Hoskins”
        f. John Dones, “Incipit Joannes Dones”

    B. Materials from Coryats Crambe (1611)

    1. “Certain verses written upon Coryats Crudities, which should have been printed with the other panegyric lines, but then were upon some occasions omitted, and now communicated to the world”
      • a. Ben Jonson, “Incipit Ben. Jonson”
        b. Hugh Holland, “Incipit Hugo Hollandus”
    2. Thomas Coryate, “Certain orations pronounced by the author of the Crudities, to the King, Queen, Prince, Lady Elizabeth, and the Duke of York, at the delivery of his book to each of them”

    C. Additional Materials from Other Sources

    1. Thomas Coryate, letter to Sir Michael Hicks, 15 November 1610
    2. Anonymous, “On Tom Coriat”

Permissions Acknowledgments

Philip S. Palmer is Head of Research Services at UCLA’s William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.

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