FIRST EDITION OF BURTON’S WANDERINGS IN WEST AFRICA
BURTON, Richard F. Wanderings in West Africa from Liverpool to Fernando Po. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1863. Two volumes. Octavo, original gilt-stamped dark brown cloth rebacked with original spines laid down, uncut. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $5500.
Splendid first edition of Burton’s Wanderings in West Africa, with detailed folding map in Volume I and frontispiece engraving in Volume II, in original cloth.
Out of Burton’s four-year appointment as British consul in West Africa (1861-65) came nine volumes of books under five titles. Wanderings in West Africa describes the outward journey from Liverpool to consular headquarters on the Spanish Island of Fernando Po off the coast of Cameroon. Ports of call include Madeira, Tenerife, Freetown, Cape Palmas, Cape Coast, Accra, Lagos and Bonny (at the mouth of the Niger). “It apparently was Burton’s original intention to entirely suppress his name from [this] work” (Penzer, 71-72). As in all copies, Burton’s name does not appear on the title pages; as is usual, this copy bears the spine imprints “R.F. Burton” (only five copies are known lacking the name on the spines). Ex-library, with very small library stamp on each title page and ink notation on each copyright page. Bookseller tickets.
Text generally fine; expert paper repairs to fragile folding map. Cloth exceptionally fresh, gilt bright. About-fine, scarce in this condition.