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Austral Africa: Losing it or Ruling it.

Being Incidents and Experiences in Bechuanaland, Cape Colony, and England.

Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, London , 1887 Stock Code: 119326
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First edition of "the best detailed historical account of the events which led to the inclusion of Bechuanaland amongst the British colonies of South Africa the first step towards the retention of the hinterland of the Cape for the Empire" (Mendelssohn). Mackenzie (1835-1899), a Congregrationalist missionary, arrived in South Africa in 1858, and was in Shoshong, in what became Bechuanaland, from 1862; in 1878, the year of publication, he was invited by Sir Bartle Frere to become British commissioner for Bechunaland south of the Molopo River, but chose to continue with his missionary work. Mackenzie, "a humanitarian imperialist, who believed in the extension of British rule in order to protect African peoples from European encroachment" (ODNB), campaigned for direct British rule in the land west of the Transvaal at a time of increasing Boer encroachment, and in opposition to calls from Cecil Rhodes to annex the area to the Cape. He accompanied Sir Charles Warren's expedition in 1885, when Warren announced the establishment of a British protectorate, and his continued pressure on the British government "was undoubtedly important in the final decision in 1895 to maintain direct rule over Bechuanaland north of the Molopo River. He must therefore be acknowledged as one of the founders of the later state of Botswana" (ibid.)

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2 volumes, octavo. Original reddish-brown cloth, spines lettered and ruled in gilt, front boards lettered in gilt with outline map in black, black coated endpapers.


Photogravure frontispiece to each volume (mounted in vol. 1, as issued), 30 wood-engraved or photographic illustrations, as plates and to the text, 2 folding maps.


Contemporary ownership inscription ("Sonnenberg") to half-titles. Extremities bumped, spotting to edges, very occasionally encroaching on margins, vol. 1 spine slightly marked, vol. 2 sigs. X6 torn along fore edge where clumsily opened, the text unaffected. An excellent copy in the fresh original cloth, vol. 1 almost entirely unopened.


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