7 - 8 April 2004
BRUCE, James (1730-1794). - Proceedings of the Association for promoting the discovery of the interior parts of Africa. London: printed by C. Macrae, 1790.
4° (283 x 235mm). Half-title. Folding engraved map. Extensive manuscript marginal annotations in ink by James Bruce to pp.18-48. (Margins shaved with slight loss to some annotations.) Contemporary marbled calf, red morocco lettering-piece to spine (spine scuffed and chipped at head and foot, joints split). Provenance: James Bruce, of Kinnaird (presentation inscription 'A present from the Society', armorial bookplate, manuscript annotations, by descent: label 'From Kinnaird 1897').
FIRST EDITION, AND AN IMPORTANT ASSOCIATION COPY with numerous notes by James Bruce. The annotations are chiefly to chapter II which deals with the travels of John Ledyard and William Lucas. Bruce is generally critical and evidently did not think very highly of either Ledyard: 'He is reported to have been mad with some appearance of reason' (p.18) or Lucas: 'He was constantly lam[e]d by the Gout' (p.20). Their reports are also subject to many critical comments by Bruce, pointing out errors of geography, language and general understanding of the places and peoples that the travellers encountered.
Richard WHARTON. Observations on the authenticity of Bruce's Travels in Abyssinia; in reply to some passages in Brown's travels through Egypt, Africa, and Syria. To which is added, a comparative view of life and happiness in Europe and in Caffraria. Newcastle: printed by E. Walker, sold by T. Cadell, jun., & W. Davies of London, J. Todd of York, A. Clifton of Durham and W. Charnley of Newcastle, 1800. 4° (247 x 193mm). (Spotted and browned.) Contemporary speckled calf, spine gilt, green morocco lettering-piece to spine (spine rubbed). FIRST EDITION OF THIS VERY RARE WORK SUPPORTING BRUCE: no copies are listed as having sold at auction in the past twenty-five years. (2)
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