JOURNAL OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE SOURCE OF THE NILE

JOURNAL OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE SOURCE OF THE NILE

(Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1864).

THE VERY RARE TWO VOLUME ISSUE OF THIS HIGHLY IMPORTANT LANDMARK WORK OF AFRICAN EXPLORATION BY THE FIRST EXPLORER TO DISCOVER ONE OF THE MAJOR SOURCES OF THE NILE.
After an expedition into eastern Africa in the company of Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton, Speke returned to England to announce his hypothesis that the Nile issued from Lake Victoria-Nyanza. However, his fellow geographers, including Burton, were skeptical of this claim. Under the sponsorship of Sir Roderick Murchison, President of the Royal Geographical Society, Speke went back to Africa and to Lake Victoria-Nyanza, and when he returned home he claimed that this time he had found conclusive evidence that the lake was indeed the source of the great river.
This work is his published account of that expedition. It details his day-by-day adventures in his search for the source of the Nile, including myriad accounts of travel experiences such as his enjoyment of courtly life in the native palace in Uganda, expeditions of big game hunting, and, of course, the momentous ascent to the juncture of the lake and the river. For discovering “conclusive proof” that the Nile issued from Lake Victoria Nyanza, he was awarded a gold medal from the Royal Geographic Society.
His claims, however, were still widely disputed. In 1864, Burton and James McQueen published jointly THE NILE BASIN which firmly disagreed with Speke’s conclusions. Speke and Burton planned a debate on the issue, but the day prior to the meeting Speke was killed in an untimely hunting accident. His work remains a landmark in Africana literature and a highly enjoyable reading adventure. Item #21957

2 volumes. VERY RARE FIRST TWO VOLUME, DOUBLE-DECKER PRINTING, ISSUED JUST MONTHS AFTER THE FIRST ISSUANCE. Illustrated with a great profusion of black and white plates, portraits and maps including a large folding map. And with two distinct title-pages, engraved plate of Captain Grant at the front of Vol. II. 8vo, very handsomely bound in three-quarter honey morocco over marbled boards, the spine with raised bands ruled in gilt, lettered in gilt in two compartments of the spine, marbled end-leaves, t.e.g. xxxi, 363; vi, 365-658 pp. A fine set, some foxing to preliminary pages, otherwise text bright and clean, binding in very nice condition, very well preserved.

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Price: $1,850.00