CLAPPERTON, Hugh, & Dixon Denham.
Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa in the Years 1822, 1823, and 1824
[together with] Journal of a Second Expedition into the Interior of Africa. From the Bight of Benin to Soccatoo.
First editions. Accounts of two expeditions which sought to trace the Niger to its source. While neither expedition succeeded, they nonetheless opened up much of north central Africa to European knowledge. The first expedition, lead by Dixon Denham (1786-1828) with Hugh Clapperton (1788–1827) as his second-in-command, was the first European group to travel across the Sahara from Tripoli to Bornu and survive. However, it was plagued by interpersonal conflict, as Denham “treated his colleagues with a scarcely veiled contempt that from the start soured relations between them” (ODNB). Returning to London in 1825, Denham remained to write his account which “so belittled Clapperton’s contribution that it almost reads as though Denham was travelling alone” (Howgego D18). Meanwhile, Clapperton returned to Africa to continue tracing the Niger; he would die of dysentery at Sokoto two years later still without having reached the mouth of the river. This task would, however, be completed by his travelling companion Richard Lander (1804-1834). Clapperton and Lander’s journals are collected in the second volume. A large and handsome set.
2 volumes, quarto (280 x 214 mm). Contemporary full sprinkled calf, skilfully restored along board edges and rebacked to style, raised bands to spines, titles gilt to red and green morocco labels, decorative pattern to compartments gilt, double frames and decorative helix rolls to boards gilt, rolls to board edges gilt, to turn-ins in blind. Engraved portrait frontispieces, 42 plates, and 2 engraved folding maps. Partially unopened. Boards slightly scuffed, minor wear to board edges, occasional light spotting to margins. An excellent set.
Bibliography: Embacher, pp. 77-8; Gay 337; Howgego II C33-34 & D18.Don't understand our descriptions? Try reading our Glossary