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Thomas Coryate

(1577—1617) traveller and writer


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(?1577–1617),

travelled in 1608 through France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland, mainly on foot. His fame as a traveller was legendary in his lifetime. His Coryats Crudities (1611) is a long narrative of his travels. In 1612 he set out overland to India, travelling through Constantinople, Palestine, Mesopotamia, and reaching Agra in 1616. He died at Surat. A letter of his from the court of the Great Mogul is printed by Purchas, and is included in the compilation Thomas Coriate Traveller for the English Wits: Greeting. Coryate wrote in an extravagant and euphuistic style (‘He is a great and bold carpenter of words’, said Jonson), and was well known as an eccentric; there are many references to him in 17th‐cent. literature.

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