Lot 53 of 459:
Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile 1st ed  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyer's Premium):$660
Estimate:
$600 - $900

Title:
Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile in the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, & 1773
Author:
Bruce, James
Place:
Edinburgh
Publisher:
Printed by J. Ruthven, For G.G.J. & J. Robinson
Date:
1790
Description:

4 volumes (of 5). [10], lxxxiii, [2], 535; [2], viii, 718; [2], viii, 759; [2], xiv, 230, [8] pp. all of the plates called for in these four volumes are present, as are 3 folding copper-engraved maps and 4 leaves of Ethiopic facsimile. (4to) 29.5x23 cm (11½x9"), period full tree calf. First Edition.

First edition of one of the great annals of travel and explorations in Africa, a cornerstone of any collection of Africana. A Scotsman with ability and education, James Bruce, 1730-1794, was appointed the English consul to Algiers, serving for two years before resigning to roam North Africa investigating architectural ruins. Following this preparation, he set off to fulfill his great ambition, to discover the source of the Nile. His travels into Abyssinia, a remarkable solo undertaking, resulted in the present body of work which not only includes the narrative of his travels but also comments on the history and religion of Egypt, an account of Indian trade, a history of Abyssinia and other such material. The DNB notes that while Bruce would not be confused with "a great scholar or a judicious critic..., few books of equal compass are equally entertaining; and few such monuments exist of the energy and enterprise of a single traveller." The many engraved plates are finely executed, and present primarily the flora and fauna encountered by Bruce on his travels. Lacking the fourth volume.

Lot Amendments
Condition:
Bindings well worn, several panels nearly detached; armorial bookplates to front pastedowns, water soiling to two volumes, some offsetting, internal flaws, tears, some soiling to maps; good condition withal, offered as-is.
 
Item number:
291808
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