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Across the Sahara from Tripoli to Bornu.

Published: London: Edward Arnold, 1910

Stock code: 112165

Price: £250

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First edition, first impression, of this important account by the Swiss-born missionary, colonial administrator and explorer Sir Hanns Vischer (1876-1945) . “Disembarking at Tripoli he joined a caravan of forty men and women, many of them freed slaves who had attached themselves to the caravan for protection, with forty camels and two horses. Constantly harassed by marauding Tuareg and distressed bythe blistering heat and unending search for water, Vischer proceeded via Lake Murzuq and the Bilma coast and successfully arrived at Lake Chad, thereby becoming the first Englishman of the modern era to cross the Sahara. En route he discovered desert rock art and Roman inscriptions in the midst of waterless, lifeless tracts of desert, and found stone implements of the Miocene period – evidence of an ancient and prosperous culture in the Fezzan… Vischer’s achievement was widely acclaimed in the press, the Illustrated London News in 1909 describing him as one of Britain’s greatest explorers, on a par with Shackleton” (Howgego).

Octavo. Original red cloth, gilt lettered spine and front cover. Monochrome half-tone frontispiece, 22 plates, 21 illustrations in the text, folding coloured map of Vischer’s route from Tripoli to Lake Chad. Contemporary presentation slip on front pastedown. Spine lightly sunned, front inner joint cracked, scattered light foxing and a few marginal pencillings, closed-tear at map stub. A good copy with the publisher’s 8-page catalogue at the end (dated January 1910).

Bibliography: Howgego II V5.

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