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BURTON, Richard F.


City, Island, and Coast.

Tinsley Brothers, London , 1872 Stock Code: 128959
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First edition, from the library of Harold Ingrams (1897-1973), a British colonial administrator who first came to Zanzibar in 1919 at the age of 22 as assistant district commissioner and held several positions there, including editor of the Zanzibar Gazette. He later served in Yemen and Uganda and wrote a number of books on the region, including Zanzibar: Its History and Its People (1931).
Burton, during his 1857-9 expedition to East Africa to locate the source of the Nile, found himself delayed in Zanzibar for close to half a year at an important juncture in the history of the island: Zanzibar had become a separate sultanate in 1856 following the death of Sa'id bin Sultan, Sultan of Muscat and Oman, and was now ruled as a distinct entity by his sixth son, Majid bin Sa'id, the first Sultan of Zanzibar. During his stay Burton "compiled an enormous quantity of notes about Zanzibar, including a book manuscript, which he entrusted to an official of the East India Company for dispatch to the Royal Geographical Society" (ODNB). The intention was likely that these notes were to be published already in 1860 (Preface, p. ix). On his return to Zanzibar in March 1859 Burton learnt that neither notes nor manuscript reached the Royal Geographic Society; the manuscript was eventually located in a strong box belonging to the Bombay branch of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1865. Apart from detailing the journey to Zanzibar, the first volume is mainly concerned with various aspects of the region, including climate, geography, flora and fauna, industry, and the ethnic makeup of the population. The second volume covers the journey to Mombasa and up the Pangani river, an excursion begun in early January 1857 and abandoned in April as both Burton and Speke were brought down with fever and dysentery, and also gives a brief overview of the East African expedition.

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2 volumes, octavo (212 x 133 mm). Contemporary half calf with marbled covers, titles gilt in labels to spines, raised bands and gilt decorated compartments to spines, marbled edges, marbled endpapers.


Volume 1: frontispiece and 3 etched plates, one lithographic folding map, 4 etched plans. Volume 2: frontispiece and 6 etched plates.


Bookplates of R. D. Jackson and W. H. Ingrams to front pastedowns and endpapers respectively, bookseller's stamp from "Sotheran Sackville St. London" to verso of front end papers. Some shelf wear to spines and extremities with wear along bottoms of covers, bumping to tips, light foxing to prelims, plates standing slightly proud, tear to map with repair to verso. Remains a very good copy.


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