2 Volumes. First edition. A good set
Original green cloth, spines lettered and decorated in gilt, gilt panels enclosing large gilt block of a camel caravan to front boards, rear boards paneled in blind, fore edges untrimmed, recased using original cloth and with new endsheets, but Vol. 1 missing ffep.
Wood-engraved portrait frontispiece, 52 plates of illustrations by Zwecker and Durand, 2 lithographic maps, one large and fold-out. Large fold-out map has been reinforced and repaired. Evidence of moisture to Vol. 1 frontis and title-page, and some plates in Vol. 2. Original cloth has wear to edges, corners. Former owner bookplate to front paste-down.
In 1869 "the Khedive Isma'il appointed Baker to a four-year term as Governor-General of the Equatorial Nile basin, with the rank of pasha and major-general in the Ottoman army. It was the most senior post a European ever received under an Egyptian administration. According to the khedive's firman, Baker's duties included annexing the equatorial Nile basin, establishing Egyptian authority over the region south of Gondokoro [modern-day South Sudan], suppressing the slave trade, introducing cotton cultivation, organizing a network of trading stations throughout the annexed territories, and opening the great lakes near the equator to navigation" (ODNB). In his earlier exploits in Africa, he had witnessed first hand the horror and misery of that barbaric practice. "While most of the narrative involves travel and military adventure, there are several episodes of sport as well. Baker's troops bagged crocodile and hippopotamus, depicted in several fascinating engravings. South of Regiaf, the author bagged a pair of elephants, and attempted to collect a few more by using both Hale's rockets and the company's fieldpiece Later, in Unyoro, he hunted antelope and lion while natives drove the game toward a series of nets" (Czech). Blackmer 66; Czech (Africa) p. 11; Howgego I B10; Ibrahim-Hilmy I p. 49.
Samuel Baker is considered one of the greatest explorers of all time, and his wife, whom it is said he stole from an Ottoman Empire white-slave auction, accompanied him on all of his African excursions.
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