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First Footsteps in East Africa;
London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans,, 1856. or, and Exploration of Harar. Octavo. Original brick red cloth, title gilt to the spine, blind-stamped panels to the boards. mid brown surface-paper endpapers, ads. to the pastedowns. Housed in a red half morocco book-style drop-back box. Chromolithographic frontispiece and 3 similar plates, 7 illustrations to the text and 2 full-page maps. Slightly rubbed and soiled,minor splits at the head and tail of the spine, front hinge neatly repaired, light toning, largely unopened, a very good copy. First edition, second issue, brick red cloth and without Appendix IV on infibulation, as usual. Following his "pilgrimage" to Mekkah, instead of returning to Britain - "where he would have received a hero's welcome at the Royal Geographical Society and the applause of the general" - Burton "lingered in Cairo until November 1853 … Even as he completed the manuscript of his Personal Narrative after returning to Bombay, he was planning the penetration of another forbidden city. This time his objective was Harar, an important religious centre and notorious base for the slave trade in Somalia" (ODNB) The expedition was enthusiastically supported by the Bombay Council, and the party of four, Stroyan, who Burton had worked with in Sind; Herne, a skilled photographer and surveyor; and John Hanning Speke, a young officer who was taken on at the last minute following the death of Assistant-Surgeon J.E. Stocks, assembled at Aden in October 1854. There the political resident, Col. James Outram "dismissed their plan as excessively dangerous,"Burton accordingly revised the plan, reserving the inland trip to Harar for himself. Speke was forced to return early to Aden from his trip to Wadi Nugal by the treachery of his guide; Burton spent ten days in Harar, where he was "spied upon constantly, but …learnt much from local scholars" (Howgego), meeting up with the other two party-members at Berbera. Once back in Aden, Burton planned a further trip, a trek up the Nile from the Somali coast. But on their return to Berbera in April their camp was attacked by Somali tribesmen, Stroyan being killed by a spear thrust, Burton receiving his famous facial wound, the party barely escaping. An account of the skirmish is included in the Postscript. An excellent copy in the original cloth.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    


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