The two slim volumes of the first set are a revised outline of all Levaillant's voyages between 1780 and 1785, published in Switzerland in 1790; while the three more substantial volumes of the second set have more detail on the 1783-85 voyages, and were published in France between 1792 and 1793. None of the illustrations appear in both sets.
Set A. Voyage dans l’Intérieure de l’Afrique par le Cap de Bonne-Espérance dans les années 1780/81/82/83/84/85. Nouvelle [new] edition. Full bound in tan calf with gilt lettering on on red spine labels. Plain endpapers with owner name on front free endpaper. All edges gilt. Vol 1 xxiv + 271 pp + 2 fold-out engravings. Vol 2 296 pp + 3 full-page engravings + publisher’s announcements.
Set B. Second Voyage dans l’Intérieure de l’Afrique par le Cap de Bonne-Espérance dans les années 1783/84/85. The publication year is given as the third year of the Revolution [1792/3]. Full bound in tan calf with gilt lettering on black spine labels. All edges tinted red. Plain endpapers, unmarked. Vol 1 xliv + 304 pp + 1 fold-out map + 5 fold-out and other engravings. Vol 2 426 pp + 8 full-page engravings. Vol 3 iii + 525 pp + 2 pp instruction to binder + 8 full-page engravings.
All the volumes are unmarked and undiscoloured and the map and all 26 excellent engravings are present and undamaged, making this a very good set.
In his “Pioneer Travellers in South Africa”, Vernon Forbes writes that the French editions are authoritative, with many pirated editions appearing in English and other languages, and the map in the original French edition being some four times larger than the one in the much later authorised English edition. Noting the charges that Le Vaillant may not have authored all the work attributed to him, Forbes writes: “ . . . even if he did not actually write all that was printed . . . the work must have received his approbation."
- Binding Condition: Very Good
- Overall Condition: Very Good
- Size: Octavo. 195 x 130; 210 x 135