HUTTON, William. A Voyage to Africa: Including a Narrative of an Embassy to one of the Interior Kingdoms, in the Year 1820; with Remarks on the Course and Termination of the Niger, and Other Principal Rivers in the Country. London: A. and R. Spottiswoode for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1821.
8vo (215 x 130mm). 20th-century full mottled calf gilt, boards with gilt borders with fleuron cornerpieces, spine gilt in compartments, gilt morocco lettering-pieces in 2, date in gilt at the foot, others decorated with central fleurons, roll-tooled gilt turn-ins, speckled edges; pp. x, [2 (itinerary, blank)], 488, [4 (plate-list and errata, 3 blank pp.)]; hand-coloured aquatint frontispiece and 3 hand-coloured aquatint plates by J. Clark after Hutton, 2 engraved folding maps by Sidney Hall after Hutton, wood-engraved illustration and letterpress tables in the text; extremities very slightly rubbed, some variable offsetting, foxing and spotting (heavier on plates and maps), one map slightly chipped and creased at edges, otherwise a very good copy.
First edition. Hutton was an officer of the African Company, and had acted as British Consul for Ashanti. His introduction to the work states that, 'although an account of the former Mission to Ashantee is before the public [presumably T.E. Bowdich's Mission from Cape Coast to Ashantee (London: 1819)], the particulars of this second mission to that country, it is hoped, may not be without interest; but as Mr. Bowdich has entered very fully into the history and constitution, superstitions, and customs, &c. of the Ashantees [presumably a reference to his An Essay on the Superstitions, Customs and Arts of the Ancient Egyptians, Abyssinians and Ashantees (London: 1821)], it would be superfluous in me to repeat what that gentleman has said upon these subjects. I shall therefore confine myself as much as possible to our proceedings at the capital, and to such facts as have come within my own observation; and as they have been the result of several years' experience, if it shall be considered that I have contributed in the smallest degree to the entertainment or information of the public, my utmost wish will be gratified' (p. ix). Apart from the accounts of his journey to Kumasi and narrative, the book contains 'A Vocabulary of the Fantee Language', together with notes on its grammar and pronounciation (chapter XIII). In this copy ll. C3, E5, and G1 are cancellantia and are thus signed with asterisks.
Abbey, Travel 280; Brunet III, col. 392; Cardinall 563; Gay 2871bis; Lowndes p. 1153 ('A work of information, with some valuable public documents').