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African Hunting from Natal to the Zambesi.
London: Richard Bentley,, 1863. Including Lake Ngami, the Kalahari Desert, etc. From 1852 to 1860. Octavo. Original honeycomb-grain green cloth, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, decorative blind rules to sides enclosing gilt hunting vignette to front, brown coated endpapers, binder's ticket (Edmonds & Remnants) to the rear pastedown, edges untrimmed. Title page printed in red and black, photogravure portrait frontispiece, folding map, 10 wood-engraved plates, 6 double-tint lithographs not listed in the contents but still called for, wood-engravings to the text. Contemporary bookseller's ticket to front pastedown. Small mark to spine not affecting lettering, headcaps rubbed, light wear to bumped tips, light spotting to prelims, faint tide-mark to top edge of frontispiece, a few other trivial marks. An excellent copy. First edition of "one of the best books describing early African big game hunting, and a necessary volume in the African sporting library" (Czech), also noted for providing the first accurate description of the Victoria Falls. Baldwin (1826-1903) arrived in Durban in 1851, "seduced to South Africa after reading Gordon-Cumming's Five Years of a Hunter's Life (1850)" (Howgego), and "penetrated through Natal, Zululand, the Transvaal, Bechuanaland, Matabeleland, and Namaqualand, in days when some of these countries were hardly known even by name … Baldwin's experiences are written in a simple and unostentatious manner, but he went through more adventures than almost any other of the great South African travellers" (Mendelssohn). Soon after arriving he joined a hunting trip to Zululand led by "Elephant White", travelling to St Lucia Bay to shoot hippopotamus. In 1854 he hunted in Amatonga country (north-eastern Natal) and made a second trip to Zululand. In 1857 he visited the Transvaal, and the following year reached as far as Lake Ngami despite the ongoing conflict between the Transvaal and Orange Free State. "On a final journey in April 1860 Baldwin set out from Potchefstroom, guided only by a pocket compass, intent on reaching the Victoria Falls which until then had been seen only by David Livingstone. More by luck than judgement he arrived at the falls on 3 August 1860 and about five days later encountered the celebrated missionary … Apart from becoming only the second European to set eyes on the falls, Baldwin was the first to provide their true dimensions and the first to reach the falls directly from Natal. After an estimated 24,000 kilometres of travel through many parts of southern Africa, Baldwin returned to England in 1863" (ibid.) His account, much enlivened by its attractive lithographs, was reprinted the same year under a slightly variant title, and again in 1894.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2017-10-05           Check availability:      Biblio    

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