Philadelphia: Edward Earle, 1815. A desirable copy of the relatively scarce first American edition of this important book about the last African expedition conducted by Scottish explorer of West Africa, Mungo Park (1771- 1806). After his first successful exploration of the upper Niger River around 1796, he wrote a popular and influential travel book titled Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa in which he theorized the Niger and Congo merged to become the same river. He was killed during a second expedition in 1805, having successfully traveled about two-thirds of the way down the Niger. Park's death meant the idea of a Niger-Congo merger remained unproven but it became the leading theory among geographers. The mystery of the Niger's course, which had been speculated about since the Ancient Greeks and was second only to the mystery of the Nile source, was not solved for another 25 years, in 1830, when it was discovered the Niger and Congo were in fact separate rivers [Wikipedia]. This book about Park's last expedition comprises several sections: the life of Mungo Park, his journal from the last expedition, several appendixes with relevant documents, and the journals of two expedition members who searched for him after he disappeared and later were able to find out that he had died after an attack by hostile native Africans. Bound in contemporary brown leather with red spine label with titling. Leather is bumped, rubbed but still nice. Missing free endpapers. Hinges are tender. Text pages are foxed throughout, but legibility not affected. Small piece torn from margin of page 155 not affecting text. A few text illustrations. The large fragile fold-out map is present and intact. A nice copy. Octavo. 302 pages.
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London: Henry Colburn, 1818. Scarce. Comprises an account of the shipwreck of the Medusa, the sufferings of the crew, and the various occurrences on board the raft, in the desert of Zaara, at St. Louis, and at the camp of Daccard. To which are subjoined observations respecting the agriculture of the western coast of Africa. Illustrated with the notes of M. Bredif (engineer on the voyage), a plan of the raft, and a portrait of King Zaide. The Medusa had a terrible shipwreck that killed almost all aboard the ship. This narrative was written by two of the crew who escaped from the catastrophe. Bound in three quarter brown leather with brown cloth covers. Leather is chipped, rubbed, and bumped. Interior pages have some foxing throughout, some pages with marginal dampstains not affecting legibility. The plan of the raft is very dampstained but the raft itself is almost free of the stain. Frontis portrait of King Zaide is in color. Good plus. Measures 5.25 x 8.5 inches. 360 pages. AFRICA/030821.
London: Henry Colburn, 1837. Scarce. In his preface, the author states that there have been so many books about Egypt, but that his intent is to describe Egypt as it is, not as it was. Candia refers to the Venetian name for Crete at that time. During his military career Scott traveled in Crete and Syria. The two volumes are bound in nineteenth century three quarter black leather with marbled paper covers and endpapers. Leather is bumped and lightly rubbed. Marbled covers are scuffed. Text pages have browning and aging throughout but are quite legible. Volume I has frontis and two plates; Volume II has frontis, one plate, and fold-out map with the plan for Karnak. Very good. Small octavos. Volume I: 348 pages; Volume II: 358 pages.GREEK/032921.