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Journey to Central Africa

Taylor, Bayard

From Apogee Books (TUCSON, AZ, U.S.A.)

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Life and Landscapes from Egypt to the Negro Kingdoms of The White Nile. With a Map (missing in this copy) and Illustrations by the Author. Eleventh Edition. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1864. Octavo, original black publishers cloth. 522 pages, with engraved frontispiece by Bayard Taylor and engraved title-page with nice vignette by Taylor as well. Text is illustrated with a few vignette wood engravings. Foxing to prelims, including engravings, and browning to one page-spread from pressed leaf. Spine gilding rubbed, covers lightly scuffed, but still a very good copy with interior contents clean and tight. Surprisingly scarce. First published by Putnam in 1854; republished as Life and Landscapes from Egypt to the Negro Kingdoms of the White Nile: Being A Journey to Central Africa (London: Sampson Low, Son, 1854). Taylor says in his Preface that he took the journey solely to restore himself mentally, and that his principal interests were not historical or geographical, but simply "the desire to participate in their free, vigorous, semi-barbaric life.I have taken it for granted that the reader will feel more interested, as I was, in a live Arab, than a dead Pharoah." Bayard Taylor (1825-1878) was one of the most popular travel writers of his time,producing eleven volumes of his own accounts and lecturing throughout the United States to large audiences. From the time his first travel book appeared in 1846 virtually until his death, he never really quit traveling or writing about it. Always adventurous, he went to places and attempted feats not usual for travelers, thereby making accessible largely unknown regions of the world to a popular audience and making himself a romantic figure. Describing people and places vividly, he enthusiastically participated in several of the cultures he visited, often attempting to assume the characteristics of those persons whom he was observing; by this means he engaged his readers more fully than most other travel writers of his time. (James L. Gray, "Bayard Taylor," in Dictionary of Literary Biography). Bookseller Inventory # 7200

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Title: Journey to Central Africa

Binding: Hardcover

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