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Researches in South Africa; illustrating the Civil, Moral, and Religious Condition of the Native Tribes; including Journals of the Author's Travels in the Interior
London: James Duncan, 1828 - 2 volumes, octavo (210 × 131 mm). Contemporary half calf, marbled boards, green morocco lettering- and numbering-pieces, flat bands with zigzag tooling in gilt, compartments tooled with repeated wavy broken lines in blind, triple fillet in blind to the spine and corner edges, edges sprinkled brown. Just a little rubbed, light browning and occasional foxing, one leaf in volume I a little torn, no loss of text and with an old paper repair to the margins, but overall a very good set. Engraved frontispiece of Bethelsdorp to volume I together with a folding engraved map of South Africa, lithographed plan as frontispiece to volume II. First edition of this important and highly controversial work. "Few books on South African matters have been the subject of such fierce denunciation and bitter criticisms as these volumes" (Mendelssohn). Philip travelled out to South Africa in the service of the London Missionary Society in 1819 and "soon became a most drastic censor of the methods pursued towards the natives by the colonists, and the policy of the colonial Government with regard to native affairs". Publication was greeted with public indignation, the subject being brought before Parliament, and the Landrost, or magistrate of Somerset, William Mackay bringing an action against Philip for libel. The court found against Philip and ordered the payment of £200 of damages together with costs of £900. However, during his sojourn in England Philip "made contact with Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, and convinced him that the struggle for the rights of free Khoi-Khoi people in southern Africa was inseparable from the main emancipation agitation. With this entrée into the world of high politics he was able to persuade the colonial secretary, Sir George Murray, to remove all civil disabilities on 'free persons of colour' at the Cape, and indeed throughout the British empire On his return to Africa in 1829 Philip was fêted as a hero by the Khoi-Khoi, but vilified by the settlers and officials", the hefty fine resulting from the libel case was "covered by evangelicals in Britain to whom he had become a hero" (ODNB). Armorial bookplates of Somerset Richard Maxwell, 8th Baron Farnham, nephew of the Henry, the 5th Baron and Bishop of Meath, who was active in all manner of Protestant evangelical and missionary organisations in Ireland and abroad, correspondent with many prominent abolitionists including Wilberforce. Mendelssohn I, p. 160.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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