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Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the Rivers Kwo'ra and Bi'nue (commonly known as the Niger and Tsádda) in 1854.
London: John Murray,, 1856. Published with the Sanction of Her Majesty's Government. Octavo. Original blue wave-grain cloth, gilt-lettered spine, decorative blind panels to boards reddish-brown coated endpapers, binder's ticket of Edmonds & Remnants to rear pastedown. Housed in a custom blue cloth slipcase. Wood-engraved frontispiece, vignette to title, folding plan of the steam-ship "Pleiad", folding map. Spine sunned with light fraying to foot, the gilt titles remaining bright, mild sectional fading and scattered pale marking to boards, small portion of wear to upper outer corner of front board, light finger-soiling to frontispiece recto and p. 1. An excellent copy, almost entirely unopened. First edition of this valuable work, uncommon in the original cloth, from the celebrated travel collection of Franklin Brooke-Hitching with his pencilled initials to the initial blank. Having won the favour of geologist Sir Roderick Murchison, Baikie (1825-1864) was appointed surgeon and naturalist to the Niger expedition of 1854, which aimed to ascend the Niger in a purpose-built steamer, establish a trading settlement in the interior and rendez-vous with German explorer Heinrich Barth. "On the death of John Beecroft at Fernando Po, Baikie took command of the expedition. He demonstrated the navigability of the Niger and the value of quinine as a prophylactic against malaria. He clarified the topography of the area, providing information for a map by John Arrowsmith" (ODNB). "Although the explorer Barth was never found (he subsequently found his way back to Europe via the Sahara) the voyage had been exceptionally profitable in terms of its trade in ivory and had shown that the Niger provided a viable route into the interior. The region was found to be teeming with wildlife and to have fertile soils abounding in valuable vegetable products, and friendly relations were established with many local tribes. Baikie and his crew … returned to England in February 1855 and in the following year Baikie proudly presented to the public his important Narrative of an Exploring Voyage" (Howgego).
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2017-10-24           Check availability:      Biblio    

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