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DU CHAILLU, Paul B.

Explorations & Adventures in Equatorial Africa;

With Accounts of the Manners and Customs of the People, and of the Chace of the Gorilla, Crocodile, Leopard, Elephant, Hippopotamus, and Other Animals.

Published: London: John Murray, 1861

Stock code: 100785

Price: £500

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

Second UK edition with corrections and a short “Notice” added to the Preface, published in the same year as the first. Du Chaillu (1835-1903) was one of the most intrepid of 19th century explorers in Africa. The journey described in Equatorial Africa, “lasted nearly four years, and in that time he travelled about 8,000 miles through tropical Africa. He collected many specimens of rare birds and animals and brought back to America the first gorillas ever seen here. He also determined that the Muni, Munda, and tributaries of the estuary of the Gaboon were mere coast rivers but that the St. Nazareth, Mexias, and Fernando Vaz were deltaic arms of the Ogowe, a vast river rising in the interior. Another important contribution was the discovery of the Fan tribe of cannibals. In 1861, two years after his return, he published Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa. This was at first received with ridicule and distrust and led to many a bitter controversy among scientists. One by one, however, Du Chaillu’s discoveries were confirmed by later travellers, and his reputation was established” (DAB).

Octavo. Original black fine-combed cloth, title gilt to the spine, large gilt block of a gorilla to the front board, blind panelling to the spine and boards, terracotta endpapers. Folding wood-engraved frontispiece of the gorilla and 26 other wood-engraved plates, numerous wood-engraved illustrations to the text, lithographed folding map. Slightly rubbed, hinges a touch loose, light browning and a scatter of foxing throughout, closed tear to the map neatly repaired, overall a well-preserved copy in the original cloth.

Bibliography: Howgego I D32.

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