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BARROW, John.

Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa.

In Which Are Described the Character and the Condition of the Dutch Colonists of the Cape of Good Hope, and of the Several Tribes of Natives beyond Its Limits: The Natural History of Such Subjects as Occurred in the Animal, Mineral, and vegetable Kingdoms; and the Geography of the Southern Extremity of Africa. A Topographical and Statistical Sketch of the Cape Colony: with an Inquiry into Its Importance as a Naval and Military Station as a Commercial Emporium; and as a Territorial Possession. in two Volumes. The Second Edition, with Additions and Alterations. Illustrated with several Engravings, and Charts.

Published: London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1806

Stock code: 81260

Price: £5,000

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Second, and best, edition of this influential survey of South Africa, which has a particular focus on the Cape Colony. First published in 1801-4, here the text is revised, expanded and corrected and 8 superb aquatint plates after Samuel Daniell added. Barrow accompanied Lord Macartney, as private secretary, on his mission to the Cape of Good Hope in 1797, being promoted to auditor general in 1798. “Macartney at once sent him on a double mission, viz. to reconcile the Kaffirs and Boers, and to obtain more accurate topographical knowledge of the colony, there being then no map which embraced one-tenth of it. In pursuit of these objects he traversed every part of the colony, and visited the several countries of the Kaffirs, Hottentots, and the Bosjesmen, performing ‘a journey exceeding one thousand miles on horseback, on foot, and very rarely in a covered wagon, and full half the distance as a pedestrian, and never except for a few nights sleeping under a roof’… He owed his appointment [as second secretary of the Admiralty] mainly to the ability he had shown at the Cape and in his history of the colony, with its unrivalled map” (DNB). Barrow was elected to the Royal Society in 1805, and was one of the founders of the Royal Geographical Society. His accounts “established new standards for travel writing” and through his friendship with John Murray he “secured the publication of a succession of travellers’ accounts which generated the great public interest in exploration.” (ODNB) Armorial bookplate of Thomas Hussey to the front pastedowns.

2 volumes, quarto (265 208 mm). Contemporary calf, rebacked, red and green morocco labels, numbered direct to the fourth compartment, flat bands with dotted roll, gilt, lozenges gilt to the first, third, and sixth compartments, blind dentelle panel to the boards, reeded edge-roll. 9 folding engraved maps, 2 of which are coloured and 1 of which is hand-coloured in outline, 8 hand-coloured aquatints, half-title to volume 2. Armorial bookplate of Thomas Hussey to the front pastedown. Slightly rubbed, some restoration and repair at the corners, light browning, some offsetting from the coloured maps as usual, a very good set.

Bibliography: Abbey Travel 320; Mandelssohn I, p89

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