TRAVELS TO DISCOVER THE SOURCE OF THE NILE, IN THE YEARS 1768, 1770, 1771, 1772, AND 1773. . . To which is prefixed , a Life of the Author.

Bruce James, of Kinnaird

Published by Edinburgh J. Ruthven for G.GJ. and J. Robinson et al 1790, 1790
Hardcover
From Buddenbrooks, Inc. ABAA (Newburyport, MA, U.S.A.)

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5 volumes. The rare first edition in full red straight grain with fine provenance, the Viscount Mersey, Bignor Park copy, The Earl of Carlisle’s copy with an intimate autograph letter tipped to the front free-fly presenting the book to a close friend, and with the printed ownership card of Prince Cantacazene of France. With 62 very finely engraved plates, maps and charts, including 3 very large folding maps. Thick 4to, very finely bound in contemporary full red straight-grain morocco, the covers with the gilt Coats of Arms of the Earl of Carlisle within triple gilt fillet borders, edges and turn-ins rolled in gilt, spines with double-raised bands gilt ruled and stopped and with lettering in gilt in two compartments, a.e.g. lxxxiii, 535; viii, 718; viii, 759; viii, 695; xiv, 230, index and errata. A fine and especially handsome set. The paper clean and fresh, the bindings regal and highly unusual. Only light expected aging to the morocco. HIGHLY IMPORTANT EARLY EXPLORATION INTO AFRICA AND A RARE FIRST EDITION IN FULL RED STRAIGHT-GRAIN MOROCCO WITH VERY FINE PROVENANCE AND AUTOGRAPH MATERIAL. With time on his hands and at the urging of a friend, Bruce composed this account of his travels on the African continent, including comments on the history and religion of Egypt, an account of Indian trade, a history of Abyssinia, and other such material. Although 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" (DNB). "The result of his travels was a very great enrichment of the knowledge of geography and ethnography" (Cox II, p. 389.) Bruce was one of the earliest westerners to search for the source of the Nile. In November of 1770 he reached the source of the Blue Nile, and though he acknowledged that the White Nile was the larger stream, he claimed that the Blue Nile was the Nile of the ancients and that he was thus the discoverer of its source. The account of his travels was written twelve years after his journey and without reference to his journals, which gave critics grounds for disbelief, but the substantial accuracy of the book has since been amply demonstrated. Bookseller Inventory # 15707

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Bibliographic Details

Title: TRAVELS TO DISCOVER THE SOURCE OF THE NILE, ...

Publisher: Edinburgh J. Ruthven for G.GJ. and J. Robinson et al 1790

Publication Date: 1790

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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