BRUCE, James (1730-1794). Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile in the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773. Edinburgh: J. Ruthven for G.G.J and J. Robinson, 1790.
5 volumes, 4o (288 x 233 mm). Half-titles. Engraved title vignettes, 3 folding maps, 58 plates, and 4 leaves showing Ethiopian dialect scripts (maps with repaired tears, occasional light spotting, a few plates remargined). (Some minor offsetting from plates to text leaves, p. 47 of vol. 5 with repair along gutter, tear to text explanation accompanying "Plan of the First Battle of Serbraxos" in vol. 4.) Contemporary calf gilt, spines gilt, (vols. 1, 4, and 5 rebacked preserving original spine, joints of other volumes cracked with inexpert tape repairs).
FIRST EDITION. Bruce arrived in Egypt in 1768 accompanied by the Italian artist Luigi Balugani. Bruce spent five years in Upper Egypt, Abyssinia, and in the exploration of the Nile. With the exception of the French surgeon Poncet, no European had visited Abyssinia in the past 150 years, so Bruce's account was of unique importance in providing valuable information on the region. The plates, based on his own and Balugani's drawings, include maps, botanical and zoological specimens, antiquities, artifacts and plans of monuments. Blackmer 221; Gay 44; Nissen ZBI 617.