utopian socialists in ethiopia.
COMBE, Edmund, and Maurice TAMISIER. Voyage en Abyssinie, dans le pays des Galla, de Choa et d'Ifat; précédé d'une excursion dans L'Arabie-Heureuse ... 1833-1857. Paris, Louis Desessart, 1838.
4 vols. 8vo. Quarter dark green calf over marbled boards, marbled edges and endpapers, spine with raised bands, tooled in gilt and decorated in blind; bound without the map as sometimes the case; a little faded in places, but overall a sturdy, clean and uniform set.
First edition. Combe and Tamisier travelled as part of the Saint-Simon movement during the years 1835-1837 in an endeavour to contribute to the exploration of Abyssinia and knowledge of Ethiopian culture. The movement was based on socialist co-operative principles and sought to raise the status of women and workers. They sponsored many expeditions into Egypt, Yemen and other parts of Africa (possibly due to the fact that their leader was arrested for propagating dissent in 1832, and they were looking for a safe haven). In particular, Combe's work is best reputed for his attention to the details of the lives of women and disadvantaged peoples in the countries he visited. Combe went on to gain a reputation as an explorer of Ethiopia, and worked as an informal diplomat. The exploration reports of Combe and Tamisier were read widely amongst those with an interest, and served as a good source of information for the wider attempts to bring regions such as Abyssinia into the trade network.