7 - 8 April 2004
WEST AFRICA, 1861-1864
[BURTON, Richard Francis]. Wanderings in West Africa from Liverpool to Fernando Po. By a F.R.G.S. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1863.
2 volumes, 8° (197 x 135mm). Engraved frontispiece in Vol. I, folding map in Vol. II. Original purple cloth gilt, covers triple-ruled in blind, a binding variant with publisher's name appearing on one line at foot of spines, but without the author's name.
FIRST EDITION AND EXCEEDINGLY RARE EARLY ISSUE WITHOUT THE AUTHOR'S NAME ON THE SPINES. PROBABLY ONE OF 3 KNOWN COPIES. It was Burton's intention to entirely suppress his name from this work and, in a roundabout way, to demonstrate his pique with the R.G.S. over having appointed Speke to lead the second expedition to Central Africa. The publishers did, however, print Burton's name on the spines of the first edition. Only two copies without Burton's name on the spines were known to Penzer: that in the British Library and Burton's own copy in the R.A.I. This rarity also differs from the first generally issued edition in that it is printed on thicker paper and the publisher's name is printed on one line only at the foot of the spines. Burton's Preface is dated December, 1862 and so this is treated as his first West African book on his first consular posting. His reports on journeys into Sierra Leone and Nigeria to track stories of gold and gold mining are credited with drawing public and corporate attention to mining prospects in a region 'not more unhealthy than the East or West Indies,' according to Burton. Penzer, p. 71-72. Casada 70. Spink 28. (2)
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