Sparrman (Anders)


But chiefly into the Country of the Hottentots and Caffres, from the year 1772, to 1776

Published: G.C.J and J. Robinson, London, 1785

Edition: First English Edition

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By Andrew Sparrman, M.D., Professor of Physic at Stockholm, fellow of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Sweden, and Inspector of Its Cabinet of Natural History. Translated from the Swedish original. With plates in two volumes.

First English Edition: 2 volumes: I. xxviii, 368 II, viii, 354, (ii errata and directions to the book-binder), pages, copper engraved frontispiece in volume 1, 9 engraved plates, half leather with marbled boards, blind decoration and black leather title labels on spine, light foxing particularly on the plates which are bound at the end of each volume, overall a very good copy.

Pages 353 and 354 in Volume 2 incorrectly numbered 349 & 350.

Book plate of Edna and Frank Bradlow on the front paste-down endpaper of both volumes.

Quarterly Bulletin of the South African Library, volume 1, (2) pages 42-48 December 1946: This edition contains considerably better plates than the German Edition.

From A South African Bibliography, Volume 4, page 362: ‘British Museum and Library of Congress give the translator as Georg Forster, but according to Professor Forbes in his edition of Sparrman' s Voyages published in 1975-77 (Van Riebeeck Society), the translator was probably Charles Rivington Hopson.

Mendelsohhn (Sidney) South African Bibliography, volume 2 page 414 -415: An enthusiast in the study of natural history from his youth, the author was overjoyed at being enabled to proceed to the Cape, through the influence of his friend Captain Ekeberg with the Royal Swedish East India Company. Sparrman's nominal position in the Colony was that of tutor to the children of Mr. M. Kerst, sub-governor of the Cape, but he was also appointed interpreter at False Bay, and received permission from Governor Van Plettenberg to practise as a doctor. He made several excursions into the country in search of natural history specimens, and he gives some valuable information respecting Cape Town and the neighbouring districts at this period. On his arrival at the Cape on January 10, 1772, he had only the small sum of twenty-five rix dollars in his possession, but the kindness of his reception, and the hospitality of the colonists, enabled him to pursue his researches, and his expenses on his short expeditions were defrayed by the Swedish East India Company. About the latter end of the year, the English Exploring Expedition under Captain Cook visited Table Bay, and Sparrman was invited to accompany it, and he sailed in the Resolution on November 22, 1772. He did not return to South Africa until March 1775, when he determined to make an expedition into the interior with a friend named Immelman, and they made a start on July 25th, the journey being extended to April 1776. They penetrated through Kaffraria as far as “Bruntjes Hoogte,” and the narrative of their travels is interesting and instructive, and is described by Mr. Theal as the most trustworthy account of the Cape Colony and the various races of people then residing in it " that had been published in the eighteenth century. The author relates many incidents illustrating the hospitality of the Dutch farmers and their dense ignorance of matters outside their own country, and he makes allusions to the cruelty of the treatment of the slaves by the lower classes of the colonists. He frequently draws attention to the inaccuracies to be met with in Kolbe's account of the Cape, and throws considerable doubt on the veracity of many of his statements. Sparrman died at Stockholm in 1820, at the age of seventy-three; his work, written in Swedish, was translated and published in French, English, and German, and went through several editions.

  • Overall Condition: A Very Good Copy
  • Size: 4to (270 x220mm)
  • Sold By: Clarke's Africana & Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Paul Mills
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
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