STANLEY, Henry Morton. In Darkest Africa or The Quest, Rescue and Retreat of Emin, Governor of Equatoria. London, William Clowes and Sons, Limited for Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington Limited, 1890.
Two volumes, 8vo. Original brick-red pictorial cloth by Leighton Son and Hodge with their ticket on the lower pastedown of volume I, upper boards decorated and lettered in black and gilt, spines decorated and lettered in black and gilt, map endpapers; pp. xv, 529; xv, 472, [2, publisher's advertisement]; one wood-engraved frontispiece and one in photogravure, both retaining tissue guards, 37 wood-engraved plates, 3 folding, colour-printed lithographic maps, one colour-printed lithographic geological profile, one folding letterpress table, and numerous wood-engraved illustrations (including maps and plans, a few full-page) in the text; slight foxing throughout both volumes, as usual, one large map with repaired tears, spines not sunned at all and consistent with the covers, these with sharp corners and edges, a very good set in the very well preserved original pictorial cloth; contemporary WH Smith blind-stamps to corner of front fly-leaf of volume one.
First edition. In Darkest Africa is the celebrated account of Stanley's 1887-1889 expedition to Lake Albert, to relieve the German physician and scientist Eduard Schnitzer (known as Emin Pasha). Following the Mahdist uprising (which had led to the death of Gordon in 1885), Emin Pasha, the governor of Equatorial Sudan, had fled Sudan for Wadelai, close to Lake Albert, where he was trapped. However, he had been able to send letters back to Europe to alert friends to his plight, and these letters had provoked great concern for Emin's safety and an expedition was proposed by William Mackinnon, the Chairman of the British India Steam Navigation Company, which Stanley was asked to lead. In 1887, Stanley arrived at Zanzibar and then travelled around the Cape to the mouth of the Congo, from where he made his way to Leopoldville and thence to along the Congo into the centre of the continent, to the river's confluence with the Aruwimi River. From there Stanley journeyed to the village of Yambuya, which he reached on 15 June 1887, and, leaving a rearguard party at Yambuya, Stanley and an advance party of some 400 embarked upon a 450-mile, five-month-long journey through the Ituri rain forest to Lake Albert.