Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #94 begins on 30 Sep 2021

US Auction #9 begins on 30 Oct 2021

Livingstone (David)


Published: John Murray, London, 1857

Edition: First Edition

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Including a sketch of Sixteen Years' Residence in the Interior of Africa, and a journey from the Cape of Good Hope to Loanda on the West Coast; Thence across the Continent, down the River Zambesi, to Loanda on the West Coast; thence across the continent, down the River Zambesi, to the Eastern Ocean.

First edition:687 pages (+ 8 pages of Murray's List of Recent Works, dated, November 1, 1857), folding tinted lithograph frontispiece of Victoria Falls, portrait, 2 othertitned lithographs, 42 wood engraved plates and other illustrations, 2 folding maps by Arrowsmith - 1 in pocket at the back, marbled end papers, edges uncut, publisher's blind stamped brown cloth with gilt titling on the spine, corners slightly bumped, a good copy.

Bradlow Variant no 2: Tinted lithographs by T. Picken as frontispiece, opposite page 66 and 225 printed by Day & Son.

Livingstone received an invitation to publish a volume on his travels even before he had returned from Africa. The President of the Royal Geographical Society, Roderick Murchison, wrote to the explorer in May 1856 explaining that John Murray - one of the best known geographical publishers of the day - was eager for Livingstone to put together a book based upon his experiences in Africa. Three weeks after Livingstone returned to England, Murray iterated his desire to put Livingstone into print, making a formal proposal.

Murray was so anxious to secure Livingstone’s book, he offered unusually generous terms. Writing on 5 January 1857, Murray noted that although it was standard practice to divide any profit equally, he offered in this instance to undertake the entire cost of publication, including the engraving of illustrations and maps, in return for only one-third of the profits.

In this exchange, Murray presented himself as a kind of agent operating on the explorer's behalf, playing up the personal satisfaction that he would gain from working with Livingstone whilst playing down the great financial reward such a contract might bring the publisher. Murray was, of course, well aware of the potential market that was already developing for Livingstone's text owing in no small degree to the efforts of Roderick Murchison, who did all he could to ensure that the explorer remained in the spotlight.

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  • Overall Condition: A Good Copy
  • Size: 8vo (230 x140mm)
  • Sold By: Clarke's Africana & Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Paul Mills
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 021 794 0600
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Visa & Mastercard via PayGate secure links and Bank transfers or Xoom transfers via PayPal
  • Trade Associations: ABA - ILAB, SABDA

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