Hakluyt, Richard (hăkˈlōt, hăkˈəlwĭt) [key], 1552?–1616, English geographer. He graduated in 1574 from Oxford, where he later lectured on geography. A passionate interest in the history of discovery led him to collect and publish narratives of voyages and travels. He was active in promoting English discovery and colonization, especially in North America. His chief work, called by J. A. Froude "the prose epic of the English nation," is The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffics, and Discoveries of the English Nation (3 vol., 1598–1600), an enlargement of a one-volume version (1589). Other publications include Divers Voyages touching the Discovery of America and the Islands Adjacent (1582) and an account of the discoveries of Hernando De Soto under the title Virginia Richly Valued (1609). Manuscripts left at his death were included by Samuel Purchas in his Pilgrims (4 folios, 1625); others are preserved at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The publication of narratives of early explorations has been continued by the Hakluyt Society, founded in 1846.
See The Original Writings and Correspondence of the Two Richard Hakluyts (1935, repr. 1967).
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