Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa: being a Journal
Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa: being a Journal

BARTH, Heinrich. Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa: being a Journal of an Expedition undertaken under the Auspices of H.B.M.'s Government, in the Yea…

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one of the key works of african travel.

BARTH, Heinrich. Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa: being a Journal of an Expedition undertaken under the Auspices of H.B.M.'s Government, in the Years 1849-1855. London, Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, 1857-8.

Five volumes. 8vo. Original green cloth gilt; 15 engraved folding maps with handcolouring of outlines and travel routes (carefully linen-backed in volumes I and III) 60 tinted and colour lithographic plates, retaining tissue guards, wood-engravings in the text, one folding plan; volumes II and V rebacked (retaining original spines), inner hinges expertly strengthened, extremities very little rubbed, inner hinges strengthened, plates in volume IV with traces of humidity, scattered spotting in places only; provenance: volume IV with bookplate of the Royal African Society, presented to West African Students Union, dated March, 1950; their stamp on initial blank.
First English edition, published in parallel with the German edition (volume I and III second printing, called 'edition' on the title-pages), of one of the greatest achievements in African exploration, Heinrich Barth's magnum opus. In 1849, the British Government appointed John Richardson of the Anti-Slavery Society leader of an expedition to North-West Africa, from Tripoli to Lake Chad. He chose as his geographer the able young German Heinrich Barth. When Richardson and another member of the expedition, Overweg, died in 1851, Barth took over. His explorations around Lake Chad, on the upper waters of the Benue, and his later visit to Timbuktu, placed him in the front rank of explorers at this period. His Travels and Discoveries won for him the Patron's Medal from the RGS, though Barth never felt that his achievements had been fully recognised. The maps, resulting from his 20,000 kilometers of travels were for a long time the best of the region, and the illustrations after sketches by the author are very atmospheric and capture this part of Africa, where the Sahara meets the lusher vegetation in the South, with street scenes, landscapes, African architecture, and wildlife.
Abbey, Travel 274, Playfair, Morocco 777.

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