SPEKE, John Hanning (1827-1864). What led to the discovery of the source of the Nile. Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood & Sons, 1864.
8° (221 x 143mm). Pp.[i-]x, , [1-]380. Half-title (verso balnk), title (verso blank), dedication (verso blank), 'Advertisement' (verso blank), contents (pp.[ix-]x), section title (verso blank), text (pp.[1-]372), additional text (pp.373-380). 32pp. publisher's advertisements at end. Wood-engraved frontispiece, 2 maps (one folding, one double-page with route marked in red), extra-illustrated with an als. from Speke to 'Mr. Simpson' of Blackwood's and 8pp. of additional text bound at the end. Original brown cloth blocked in gilt and blind (recased, spine strengthened), 20th-century brown cloth box. Provenance: John Hanning Speke (signature and address on half-title, numerous corrections in pen and pencil, loosely inserted als.).
SPEKE'S COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION CORRECTED BY HIM AND WITH ADDITIONAL CORRECTED TEXT: all in preparation for a proposed second edition which was never published. There are corrections to 78 pages - the majority are single word corrections, but a number of more substantial alterations are made. The largest proposed change is the extension of the narrative by eight pages, continuing Speke's story until his arrival in England in April 1859 - the first edition narrative ends in September 1858. Speke refers to this extension in the accompanying letter, dated 18th August 1864: 'The ladies all like the tail and with myself cannot see what more harm it could do than other parts contained in the body of the work, whilst all equally say the best policy is the "speak the truth, and shame the Devil"'. He earlier mentions this copy 'I have read through "What led" and have made some corrections as you will see by the Vol: sent - When the second edition comes out I wish you would attend to them please, and then return my copy'. The letter is dated just over a month before Speke died in a shooting accident on 18 September - his publishers seem to have abandoned any thoughts of a second edition following his death.