Maggs Bros Ltd

In Darkest Africa or the Quest Rescue and Retreat of Emin Governor of Equatoria

STANLEY Henry M. (1890.)

£350.00  [First Edition]

First edition. 2 vols. 3 folding maps & 38 plates, with further illustrations in the text. 8vo. Original pictorial cloth, gilt. A little sporadic light foxing as usual. Shelfware and fraying to headcaps. Slight splitting to cloth on spine of vol 2, all hinges reinforced with black fabric strips. Small neat tape repairs to maps. A very good bright copy otherwise. xv, 530; xv, 472, [2]ads.pp. London, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington.

Stanley ranks alongside Burton and Livingstone as one of the most important of the nineteenth-century African explorers: he did "more than any other explorer to solve the mysteries of African geography, and open up the interior of the dark continent to European trade, settlement and administration" (DNB).

Following the fall of Khartoum, Stanley was entrusted with leading a rescue mission since the remaining Egyptian force under Emin Pasha was thought to be in grave danger. He was however saddled with other aims, not least to further British colonial interests in the area from Lake Victoria to the Indian Ocean, and to explore the north-eastern sector of the Congo State. It took the party five months to reach Wadelai only to find that Emin Pasha did not feel the need to be rescued, having made a peace of sorts with the local tribes. To make matters worse, three quarters of Stanley's rear-guard en route had perished due to lack of provisions.

Despite this failure, Stanley managed to fulfil the additional aims of the journey. He traced the course of the Semliki River, discovered Ruwenzori, provided ethnographic data on the Pygmies and set up the British East African Protectorate.

Stock Code: 222661