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Home » Browse » Africa » DENHAM, Dixon, & Hugh Clapperton. - Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa, in the Years 1822, 1823, and 1824, …
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DENHAM, Dixon, & Hugh Clapperton.

Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa, in the Years 1822, 1823, and 1824, …

extending across the Great Desert to the Tenth Degree of Northern Latitude, and from Kouka in Bornou, to Sackatoo, the Capital of the Fellatah Empire. With an Appendix ...

Published: London: John Murray, 1826

Stock code: 87084

Price: £1,250

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First edition. Account of the rather contentious expedition to trace the source of the Niger. Relations between Dixon and Clapperton were not of the best they “quarrelled bitterly”, with “Denham secretly sending home malicious reports accusing him of having homosexual relations with an Arab servant—reports he had later to admit he had never believed” (ODNB). However, despite failure in their primary aim, the expedition did open up much of north central Africa to European knowledge. Shortly after their return Clapperton resumed the his Niger quest, dying of dysentery at Sokoto in 1827, leaving Denham to be “fêted in London as the hero of the expedition”, and to publish the present account in which he suppressed as much as possible all mention of his companions. “Written in a lively style, and embellished with engravings of his own sketches, it became one of the classics of its genre”.

Quarto (266 213 mm). Contemporary calf, black morocco label to the spine, flat bands with foliate decoration, gilt, triple fillet gilt panels to the compartments, and to the boards with small floral corner-pieces, marbled edges and endpapers, turn-ins milled in blind. Engraved frontispiece and 36 other plates and plans, one of them a hand-coloured aquatint, 6 vignettes to the text, folding map at the rear. A little rubbed, and with some stripping from the upper board, some light browning throughout and off-setting from the plates, a very good copy.

Bibliography: Howgego, C33; Lowndes I, p.629.

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