RICHARDSON, James. Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846. Containing a Narrative of Personal Adventures, During a Tour of Nine Months Thro…

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With a letter from the author, presenting the set to Stanley, under-secretary for foreign affairs, 'as some trifling acknowledgment of your kindness in facilitating my mission to central africa'

RICHARDSON, James. Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846. Containing a Narrative of Personal Adventures, During a Tour of Nine Months Through the Desert, Amongst the Touaricks and other Tribes of the Saharan People; Including a Description of the Oases and Cities of Ghat, Ghadames, and Mourzuk. London: Harrison and Co. for Richard Bentley, 1848.

Two volumes, 8vo. Contemporary full polished calf, spines ornamented in gilt and each volume with two red morocco lettering-pieces, covers with gilt double-fillets, turn-ins gilt, marbled edges and endpapers; pp. xxxi, 440; xii, 482; engraved frontispieces by George Cook and J.W. Cook after J.E.S. et al., one engraved plate by J.W. Cook after J.E.S., one engraved folding map by James Wyld, and wood-engraved illustrations in the text, Arabic printing in the text; bindings with wear to extremities, one one spine label a little defective, offsetting from endpapers, otherwise a very good copy; provenance: early pencil inscription to first fly-leaf James Richardson - to my Great Grendmother Gooden née Richardson.
First edition, the issue with the corrected list of plates, this copy from a descendant of the author and explorer. Richardson (1806-1851) travelled extensively in North and Central Africa, largely as an associate of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (of which he was a founder member), and directed the Society's attention to the relatively unconsidered trans-Saharan and Mediterranean slave trade and 'he was probably behind the successful attempts of the society in 1840 to interest the British government in the trade in this area' (ODNB). Following a period in Malta as the Society's agent, monitoring the success of British efforts to suppress the slave trade and making contact with the British consular agents in North Africa, he made an abortive attempt to gather information and statistics on slavery in Morocco and to meet the Sultan to persuade him to reject slavery in 1843, and, after a brief residence in England, he returned to the mission in 1844. In the spring of 1845 Richardson returned to Algiers and Tripoli, and reached Ghadames and Ghat (now in South-western Libya), before ill-health and lack of equipment forced him to return to Mesrata, having covered some 1,600 miles. His
Travels provides much information on the regions, then little described, and in it he singled out European raiders as the cause of the slave trade; as Howgego states, 'although he had made no converts to Christianity and had done little for the Bible Society, he had received a valuable intelligence about the trade routes across the Sahara' (Encyclopaedia of Exploration 1800 to 1850, p. 504).
Gay 1530; Hogg 389 ('Includes descriptions of the slave trade in the Fezzan'); Playfair, Tripoli and the Cyrenaica 219~I~.

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