7 - 8 April 2004
LIVINGSTONE, David (1813-1873). Autograph letter signed ('David Livingstone') to an unidentified recipient, Hadley Green, 6 August 1857, 4 pages, 8vo, on a bifolium.
AN OUTRAGED PROTEST AT PIRATED ACCOUNTS OF HIS TRAVELS. Livingstone declares that 'the only authorized book on my travels' is to be published in the coming month by Murray: 'No other work is authorized by the person who I imagine alone had the right to do so'. He refers in particular to an unauthorised edition of his letters published 'by the editors of the British Banner for their own private advantage', and claims that he only refrained from legal action 'lest I should thereby hurt a society with which that paper is apparently connected'. This has only encouraged other pirated versions, and Livingstone bitterly quotes their 'artful advertisements "corrected by the author", "revised by himself", "the only authorized edition" &c', denouncing them as 'mere Ananias and Sapphira-isms as my permission was never asked till I had protested against advertisements of which even the authors were ashamed'.
Livingstone's extraordinary celebrity during his 'first visit home', from December 1856 to March 1858, was capitalised upon not least by the explorer himself, whose own account, Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, though not in fact published until November 1857, sold 70,000 copies. The British Banner, founded in 1847 by Dr John Campbell of the Moorfields Tabernacle, was closely associated with the non-Conformist missionary movement. 'Ananias and Sapphira' is a reference to the couple in Acts V who lie to the apostles about the value of land they have sold for the benefit of the Church.
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