24 September 2002
THE FIRST NAVIGATION OF THE CONGO
JOHN WILLIAM NORIE. A COMPLETE EPITOME OF PRACTICAL NAVIGATION ... TWENTIETH (STEROTYPE) EDITION. LONDON: FOR THE AUTHOR, AND SOLD BY CHARLES WILSON, 1872. 8° (217 X 136MM). 8 ENGRAVED PLATES AND CHARTS ONLY, INCLUDING FRONTISPIECE (LACKING PLATE 3, ONE EARLY QUIRE PULLED, SOME WATERSTAINING AND OCCASIONAL BROWNING, FINAL ADVERTISEMENT LEAF TORN AWAY.) CONTEMPORARY SHEEP WITH BLACK MOROCCO LETTERING-PIECE (JOINTS SPLIT, EXTREMITIES WORN). PROVENANCE: H. HUGHES, 59 FENCHURCH ST., LONDON, NAUTICAL INSTRUMENT MAKER (RETAILER'S LABEL ON FRONT PASTEDOWN); PENCIL INSCRIPTION AND CALCULATIONS BY H.M. STANLEY.
STANLEY'S NAVIGATIONAL MANUAL USED ON THE FIRST DESCENT OF THE CONGO, THE ONLY SURVIVING BOOK TAKEN ON THE ANGLO AMERICAN TRANS-AFRICA EXPEDITION. This rare association copy is inscribed in pencil on the verso of the frontispiece: 'This Epitome of Navigation was taken by me across Africa on my 2nd Exped. 1874-1877.' It is also the only book in his library to be fully inscribed, presumably written in triumph in 1877 at the end of the most exhausting period of his life, as he rested up in Boma or Luanda. There are also calculations in his hand above the inscription, and on the recto and verso of the rear free endpaper. On the rear pastedown, Stanley has written the word 'Mtesa' in large letters, and below that a distance calculation showing that he has journeyed 90 miles of a 113 mile journey, presumably towards Mtesa's kingdom on the northern shore of Lake Victoria Nyanza. His first arrival there and meeting with this 'extraordinary monarch' at Usavara on 5 April 1875, is described in chapter IX of Through the Dark Continent. After further exploration of the giant lake, he also met with Mtesa once again at Jinju on 24 August of the same year. Norie's New and Complete Epitome of Practical Navigation was first published in 1805, and retained the status of a standard navigational manual for most of the century. Hughes provided all the scientific instruments for this expedition, naturally including a naviggational manual.
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