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FRENCH-SHELDON, May.

Sultan to Sultan.

Adventures among the Masai and other Tribes of East Africa.

Boston: Arena Publishing Company, 1892 Stock Code: 136609
£575.00
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"The most celebrated woman traveler in the world"

First edition, inscribed by the author on the verso of the limitation page, "Yours Faithfully M. French-Sheldon Bébé Bwana", stamped number 1,293 (of an unspecified number of copies printed) on the recto with the printed signature of H. H. Boyce, Business Manager of Arena Publishing Company, beneath.

This is an ethnography of a safari led by American author and explorer May French-Sheldon (1847-1936) in 1891 from Mombasa to the Masai lands, which included an expedition around the base of Mount Kilimanjaro and the circumnavigation of the previously unexplored crater lake named Chala. For the latter she became the first woman to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1892.

"French-Sheldon's speaking engagements following her return from her expedition in the summer of 1891 produced effusive reviews in the popular press, demonstrating the fiery impact she had on popular audiences. Reviewers credited her with being 'a woman of rare ability' (Journal, Boston) and 'a woman of singular force of character' (Express, Buffalo). However singular she seemed in her manner and delivery, reviewers' comments indicate growing audience awareness of and appreciation for women travelers' accomplishments when they proclaimed her 'the most celebrated woman traveler in the world' (Washington Star) Although few female travelers would achieve the popular renown that French-Sheldon did in the 1890s, in fact, she was one of perhaps several hundred British or American 'adventuresses' during the 19th century who traveled outside of Europe or North America with aspirations of engaging in geographical or ethnographic exploration" (Boisseau, p. 22).

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Description

Large octavo. Original red cloth over bevelled boards, spine and front cover lettered in gilt, floral patterned endpapers.

Illustrations

Photographic frontispiece with tissue guard, 26 full-page black-and-white plates, many photographic and line-drawn illustrations to the text.

Condition

Spine slightly faded, ends bumped, a little marking to covers, internally clean, a very good copy.

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