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GESSI, Romolo.

Seven Years in the Soudan:

being a record of Explorations, Adventures, and Campaigns against the Arab Slave Hunters. Collected and Edited by his Son Felix Gessi.

Published: London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1892

Stock code: 112001

Price: £675

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

First edition in English, published just a year after its Milan publication, and including letters “which do not appear in the Italian edition” (Note by the Translators); uncommon. In 1877 General Gordon was appointed as Governor of Sudan and he immediately made preparations to move against the thriving slave trade based at Bahr el Ghazal (now in South Sudan) and it’s leader Al-Zubayr Rahma Mansur, known as the “Black Pasha”. After various manoeuvrings the latter was detained in Cairo and his son Suleiman, in accordance with his father’s wishes, started an insurrection, raising 6,000 troops and conducting large scale raids. Gordon instructed his right-hand man, the Italian soldier and explorer, Romolo Gessi, also called Gessi Pasha (1831-81), to crush the insurrection. The multi-lingual Gessi had served originally as a translator with Gordon during the Crimean War. Following his campaign against the slavers, for which he earned the title of “Il Flagello degli schiavisti” (The Scourge of the slavers), Gessi became Governor of Bahr-el-Ghazal.

Octavo. Original dark red cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt and ruled in black, pale yellow surface-paper endpapers. Portrait frontispiece of Gessi from a photograph, 22 plates (2 double-page, largely from wood-engravings), illustrations in the text, folding coloured campaign map. Just a little rubbed, spine slightly sunned, a scatter of pale foxing, mainly front and back, a very good copy.

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