TRAVELS IN THE INTERIOR DISTRICTS OF AFRICA: Performed Under The Direction And Patronage Of The African Association, in the Years 1795, 1796, and 1797. With An Appendix, Containing Geographical Illustrations of Africa. By Major Rennell

TRAVELS IN THE INTERIOR DISTRICTS OF AFRICA: Performed Under The Direction And Patronage Of The African Association, in the Years 1795, 1796, and 1797. With An Appendix, Containing Geographical Illustrations of Africa. By Major Rennell

(London: by W. Bumler and Co, 1799).

THE FIRST EDITION PRINTING AND A HANDSOMELY BOUND COPY OF THIS HIGHLY IMPORTANT AND SEMINAL WORK OF AFRICANA. COPIES IN CONTEMPORARY BINDINGS ARE ELUSIVE IN THE MARKETPLACE. The African Association of London’s previous four expeditions to explore the Niger river had failed by the time they charged Park, a Scotsman, with the commission to explore the Gambia, Senegal, and Niger rivers in 1795. He covered well over 100 miles before he fell ill in 1797 and returned back to England. His unaffected style and natural sense of storytelling in the subsequent publication of his adventures make this one of the most popular accounts of African exploration. He returned to Africa in 1805 to search for the source of the Niger in a canoe, and met great hardships both on the river and with the natives that eventually cost him his own life and the life of his men.
“Until the publication of Park’s book in 1799 hardly anything was known of the interior of Africa, apart from the northeast region and coastal area...Park’s TRAVELS had an immediate success and was translated into most European languages. It has become a classic of travel literature, and its scientific observations on the botany and meteorology of the region, and on the social and domestic life of the Negroes, have remained of lasting value. Park’s career was cut short, but he made the first great practice advance in the opening-up of Central Africa.” PMM 253. A rare copy of this milestone Africana.
After the publication of the TRAVELS, Park withdrew to the quiet life of a country physician. He soon became bored with this existence and returned to Africa in 1805. He traveled on the Niger by canoe, but failed to reach the source of the river. He and his companions were killed by natives at Boussa after their canoe foundered on the rapids. Fortunately, Park had earlier sent his journals to Gambia, and they were finally published in 1815. Item #29742

First edition. Illustrated with an engraved portrait and 8 other fine engraved plates including a large folding map. 4to, full contemporary mottled tree calf, the spine with gilt stopped raised bands separating the compartments which are ruled in gilt, red morocco label gilt lettered to one compartment. xxviii, 372, [xcvii] pp. A well preserved and handsome copy with only light mellowing or wear, the spine sometime restored sympathetically, retaining the original morocco label, a bit of the usual mellowing or internal age evidence, the plates and map in good order with little wear and a bit of offsetting to the adjacent page on occasion, one plate with expert support to one fold at the verso. The book tight and the hinges in excellent order. A nice copy all in good order.

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Price: $2,250.00