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BURCKHARDT, John Lewis.

Travels in Nubia;

by the Late ... Published by the Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa.

Published: London: John Murray, 1822

Stock code: 80371

Price: £950

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Second edition, first published in 1819. Burckhardt’s travels were made under the aegis of the Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa. He arrived in London in 1806, and after failing to obtain a diplomatic posting he approached Sir Joseph Banks, one of the chief supporters of the Association, with a letter of introduction from the natural historian Joseph Friedrich Blumenbach, under whom he had studied at Göttingen. He proposed, and was soon accepted to undertake exploration on their behalf, “particularly the search for the course of the Niger” (ODNB). Most of his journeys were made in the guise of Ibrahim ibn Abdallah, an Indian merchant and pilgrim to the holy places, under which name he was to be buried in the Muslim cemetery at Cairo in 1817. “Burckhardt possessed the best qualifications for a traveller. He prepared meticulously for his voyages, obeying his maxim ‘Eile mit Weile’ – ‘more haste less speed’ – even when this made it seem to contemporaries that he was slow and hesitant. Daring and yet prudent, a close and accurate observer with an intimate knowledge of the manners and language of the people among whom he travelled, he was able to accomplish feats of exploration which to others would have been impossible …” This part of his explorations were made “in 1813 and 1814. Burckhardt left Aleppo in 1812 and made his way to Cairo; he then carried out two journeys: one along the upper Nile and the other through the Nubian desert. These travels were edited from Burckhardt’s journals by Leake; he also wrote the biographical memoir which is prefaced to the travels. This was the first of Burckhardt’s works to be published … ” (Blackmer). Armorial bookplate of William Ramsay, professor of Humanity (Latin) at the University of Glasgow 1831-63, one of the foremost British classical scholars of the era.

Quarto (268 211 mm) Contemporary half calf on marbled boards, tan morocco label, flat bands, gilt milled, edges sprinkled blue, dark blue silk page-marker present and intact. Etched portrait frontispiece by Angelica Clarke after Slater, 3 engraved maps, one full-page and 2 folding. Slightly rubbed, mild damping at the tail of the spine, front inner hinge cracked to the cords but tight, quadrant of damp-staining at the lower inner margins, text barely affected but the plates showing a slight tidemark, images barely touched, light browning to the text, a very good copy.

Bibliography: Blackmer 238; Hilmy I, 105; Weber, 106.

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