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Carta dell' Egitto e dell' Abissinia. [together with:] GESSI, Romolo. Seven Years in the Soudan: being a record of Explorations, Adventures, and Campaigns against the Arab Slave Hunters. Collected and Edited by his son Felix Gessi. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1892. Octavo. Original dark red cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt and ruled in black, black coated endpapers. Portrait frontispiece of Gessi from a photograph, 22 plates (2 double-page, largely from wood-engravings), illustrations in the text, folding coloured campaign map. First edition in English, including letters "which do not appear in the Italian edition" (Note by the Translators); uncommon.
[Milan?:] [Artaria & Ferd. Sacchi e figli?], [c.1878-79] - Large folding map lightly coloured in cream and blue (sheet size: 690 × 860 mm, folding down to 140 × 210 mm). dissected into 20 sections, backed on to linen. Detailed glossary translating English terms into Italian. Undated, although several printed details are dated with explorers' names, the latest identified is the Wilhelm Junker expedition of 1877-78. Map lightly toned and with a touch of foxing in places otherwise in excellent condition. Book: spine a little rolled, inner hinges neatly strengthened, scattered foxing, short closed-tear to map. A very good copy. In 1877 General Gordon was appointed as Governor of Sudan and he immediately made preparations to move against the thriving slave trade based at Bahr el Ghazal (now in South Sudan) and it's leader Al-Zubayr Rahma Mansur, known as the "Black Pasha". After various manoeuvrings the latter was detained in Cairo and his son Suleiman, in accordance with his father's wishes, started an insurrection, raising 6,000 troops and conducting large scale raids. Gordon instructed his right-hand man, the Italian soldier and explorer, Romolo Gessi, also called Gessi Pasha (1831-81), to crush the insurrection. The multi-lingual Gessi had served originally as a translator with Gordon during the Crimean War. Following his campaign against the slavers, for which he earned the title of "Il Flagello degli schiavisti" (The Scourge of the slavers), Gessi became Governor of Bahr-el-Ghazal. This rare map, printed in English and Italian, would have been used by someone following closely Gessi's campaign either from direct military communications or newspaper reportage (there are pinholes at the top corners where it has been displayed); it has a number of fascinating annotations: there are several underlinings and marks in black and red, and various tiny handwritten notes in Italian locating troop positions, for example "200 soldati" (soldiers) at Foweira, "50 soldati Sudanesi" at Sobat, "100 Soldati" at Nasser, "No Soldati" at Shambeh. The name "Gessi" is handwritten in red and highlighted with a hand-drawn feathered arrow at Bahr el-Ghazal. A number of the places marked coincide with the campaign map present in Gessi's book, as do the numbers of "soldati" mentioned, for example: on page 206 Gessi notes that at Lado "two hundred and forty guns of an antique pattern were delivered to me" - this ties-in closely to the "230 soldati" at Lado inscribed on the map ("soldati" may be here conflated with "guns"). We have only been able to locate one copy of the map, at the Biblioteca statale di Cremona, where a handwritten note states that it was published at Milan by Artaria and Ferd. Sacchi e figli, who were also responsible for publishing a map of Egypt, the Sudan, the Red Sea, and Abyssinia in 1887 (viewable online at New York Public Library Digital Collections). Not in Copac or OCLC. "In July, 1878 Romolo Gessi sailed from Khartoum with 2,800 dragooned, unwilling and long-unpaid men on the steamer Bordein, under orders from Gordon to suppress Suleiman Zubeir's revolt and to eject his 6,000 fighters from their strongholds at Dem Suleiman and Dem Idris, in Bahr al-Ghazal. Gessi's orders were to recruit some 5,000 additional men en route and to offer £1,000 for Suleiman's capture. Privately, Gordon wrote, 'I hope he will hang them.' Gordon had written to the Egyptian government for reinforcements, but to his horror was offered Zubeir Pasha instead. By a combination of deception and force, Gessi captured Dem Idris in December. Over the next three weeks, Suleiman's men engaged in unsuccessful and suicidal attacks to recapture the stockade, defended by Gessi's new artillery. Despite Gessi's reported victories, Gordon worried over the possibility that Suleiman and Haroun would join forces and that a third rebellion brewing up in Kordofan might signal a more general Sudanese-wide rebellion. Gessi, however, routed Suleiman's forces, Suleiman barely escaping with his life. Gessi then began moving toward Sha [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2016-01-09           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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