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The Okavango River.
London: Hurst and Blackett,, 1861. A Narrative of Travel, Exploration, and Adventure. Octavo. Original maroon pebble-grain cloth, titles and decoration to spine gilt, decorative frames to boards in blind, grey coated endpapers, edges untrimmed. Engraved frontispiece with tissue-guard, title vignette, 15 plates. Extremities rubbed and bumped, spine sunned and rolled, light fraying to foot, cloth worn at lower outer corners, short section of similar wear on fore edge of rear board, light foxing to frontispiece verso and title page. A very good copy. First edition of Andersson's second book, rare in the unrestored original cloth. Andersson (1827-67), the illegitimate son of a Welshman living in Sweden and his Swedish servant, travelled to England in 1849, intending to continue to Iceland to take up a life of hunting and exploration, but instead joined Francis Galton's expedition to south-west Africa. Galton left in 1851 never to return to Africa, but "Andersson stayed on, determined to follow a career as a trader, traveller and naturalist", basing himself at Otjimbingwe, central Namibia, and becoming "deeply involved in the tribal politics of the region" (Howgego). In 1856 he set out on a hunting expedition through Namaqualand and Damaraland, intending to reach the Cunene River, which flows from the Angolan highlands to what is now the Namibian border. Though forced to turn back owing to numerous difficulties, he obtained "much valuable information, and his success as a hunter and collector was unique in this part of the continent. The coast-line of South-West Africa is carefully described, and there is an interesting account of the once-famed guano island, Ichaboe" (Mendelssohn), as well as encounters with lion, kudu, giraffe, eland, rhinoceros and elephant. In 1864 Andersson sold all his assets to organise an army of 3,000 Herero warriors against the Oorlam Afrikaners, receiving a leg wound which blighted his final years, and he died at Omutwe-Onjambu, Angola, three years later.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2017-10-08           Check availability:      Biblio    

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