Maggs Bros Ltd

First Footsteps in East Africa;

BURTON, Richard, F. (1856.)

£7500.00  [First Edition]

Please contact us in advance if you would like to view this book at our Curzon Street shop.

or an Exploration of Harar.First edition, first issue. 2 maps & 4 coloured lithographs, with 7 illustrations in the text. 8vo. Original purple cloth, gilt, with half title, recased, old cloth laid down, this rather faded and worn, with new endpapers. xli, 648pp. London,

"Exceedingly rare and practically unobtainable" (Penzer).

The Preface (p.xxvii) in listing the contents of the Appendix gives the fourth as: "A brief description of certain peculiar customs, noticed in Nubia, by Brown and Werne under the name of [in]fibulation." However, unlike the copy described here, in most known copies the fourth Appendix itself is omitted and in its place a cancel is found: "It has been found necessary to omit this Appendix".

The publisher apparently did not understand the nature of the "peculiar customs" until the print run had begun and was unable to accept that accounts of female circumcision were a suitable topic for his readers. As Penzer puts it: "Since Burton's time the great importance of detailed attention on the part of travellers to all kinds of deformations and mutilations among natives has been fully realized" (p62).

Barely a year after returning from his pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah Burton set out once again in disguise, this time as an Arab merchant, with the intention of travelling to the closed city of Harar. Despite achieving his primary objective, the expedition's success was overshadowed by the death of Lieut. Stroyan and the loss of stores and personal possessions during an attack by Somalis whilst their were encamped on the Beach at Berberah.

Penzer, p60/61.

Stock Code: 207631