ALMEIDA, Manoel and Balthezar Tellez. Historia geral de Ethiopia a Alta, ou Preste Ioam, e do que nella obraram os Padres da Companhia de Iesus. Composta na mesma Ethiopia, pelo Padre Manoel d’Almeyda, Natural de Vizeu, Provincial, e Visitador, que foy na India. Abreviada com nova releycam, e methodo, pelo Padre Balthezar Tellez, Natural de Lisboa, Provincial da Provincia Lusitana: ambos da mesma Companhia. Em Coimbra: Na Officina de Manoel Dias, Impressor da Universidade, Anno do Senhor de mil & seyscentos & sessenta 1660 Nineteenth century morocco, folio. [32 x 22 cm.] xxxvii,738pp. additional engraved title by P. van Liefbitten after P. Fruytiers (partly hand-coloured), title printed in red and black, half-title, double-page engraved map (lower blank margin extended) and its descriptive leaf ‘Advertencias sobre este mappa’, engraved map to show the source of the Nile.
Manoel de Almeida (1580-1646) was a Portuguese Jesuit who was sent to Ethiopia in 1624 during the reign of the Roman Catholic convert Emperor Susneyos. He was the first traveller to describe various parts of south-west Ethiopia and spent time in the Jesuit establishment at Gorgora on the shores of Lake Tana. In 1632 he witnessed the death of Emperor Susneyos and left Ethiopia in 1633 during the expulsion of the Jesuits. Balthezar Tellez edited this work and included the accounts of Pedro Pays and Alfonso Mendes. This copy has the additional engraved title partly hand-coloured, so as to cover up the nakedness of several figures on the right-hand side. KK2 remargined to size, rust-holes affecting one or two letters in A2, M5 and Tt1 (the last two repaired), repairs to blank margins of M1 and KKK6, short tear in Ii6 repaired without loss. The rarity of this work has been suggested by some scholars as due to James Bruce destroying any copies he came across so as to pass off the descriptions as his own. From the Britwell Court Library of Henry W. Miller, with his monogram in compartments on the spine (Britwell Court sale, lot 20, 30 June 1919); and from the library of Dr. Juel-Jensen with his Amharic bookplate, bought from Brockhaus Catalogue 70 (1984) with the original invoice enclosed and some copies of related correspondence. An excellent copy of the first edition in a nineteenth century black morocco with marbled endpapers by Lewis. [Fumagalli: 1409] COPAC lists the Oxford, BL and SOAS copies.