"WITH THE KINDEST REGARDS OF DAVID LIVINGSTONE": RARE PRESENTATION FIRST EDITION OF LIVINGSTONE'S MISSIONARY TRAVELS IN SOUTH AND CENTRAL AFRICA, BOLDLY INSCRIBED IN THE MONTH AFTER PUBLICATION
LIVINGSTONE, David. Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa; Including a Sketch of Sixteen Years' Residence in the Interior of Africa. London: John Murray, 1857. Thick octavo, modern three-quarter green calf gilt, raised bands, red morocco spine label, marbled boards and endpapers. $17,500.
First edition, second issue, of Livingstone's first book, a rare presentation copy inscribed in the month after publication by Livingstone on a tipped-in leaf (as is commonly the case with this work): "Revd. Dr. Miller, with the kindest regards of David Livingstone, London 2nd Novr. 1857." Richly illustrated with folding wood-engraved frontispiece and 24 wood-engraved plates, numerous in-text woodcuts, two folding maps with Livingstone's routes hand-colored, and folding elevation chart of South Central Africa, attractively bound.
The London Missionary Society ordained Livingstone in 1840 and sent him to South Africa. This extraordinary book documents his first South African expedition during which "he explored vast regions of central Africa, many of which had never been seen by white men before. He first discovered the Zambesi River at Secheke and followed it northwards, eventually reaching the west coast of Africa at Luanda, Angola, and the east coast at Quelimane, Mozambique. In 1855 he discovered the great falls of the Zambesi and named them the Victoria Falls. He explored the Zambesi, Shire and Ruyuma rivers and found the salt lake Chilwa and Lake Nyasa… During his travels Livingstone was appalled at what he saw of the terrible effects of the slave trade (mainly carried on by Arabs) on African life. He followed the principles of Wilberforce and became a protagonist in the fight to abolish slavery. The geographical results of his journeys were of supreme importance, and made it possible to fill in great stretches of the maps of Central Africa which hitherto had been blank" (PMM 341). Second issue, with uncolored wood-engraved folding frontispiece (rather than a color lithograph) and plates 8 ("Lake Ngami") and 16 ("Bechuana Reed Dance") uncolored wood-engravings rather than tinted lithographs. Abbey surmises, based upon the copy received by the British Museum in 1857, that copies with the folding frontispiece, plates 8 and 16 in uncolored wood engraving are first issue; however, it is now widely accepted that the first issue had a colored lithographed frontispiece and plates 8 and 16 tinted lithographs. With two folding color-outlined maps, both tipped-in at rear. Publisher's catalog dated November 1, 1857. Abbey Travel 347. Cole, 124. Hosken, 126. Mendelssohn I, 908. Norman 1377.
Text quite clean, faint foxing to portrait, minor repair to larger folding map on verso along one fold. Attractive calf-gilt binding fine. An excellent presentation copy.