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Dr David Livingstone Rare Books

David Livingstone was a Scottish-born missionary and Victorian explorer, whose ventures into Africa and the fame resulting therefrom was to have a considerable destabilising impact on the slave trade.

96778-1

 

His rags-to-riches life started in a cotton mill, where he worked from the age of ten.  He went to college and received a medical degree leaving the UK for South Africa as a medical missionary.

Livingstone’s fame as an explorer and his obsession with discovering the sources of the Nile river was founded on the belief that by solving that age-old mystery his fame would give him sufficient influence to end the African Arab-Swahili slave trade. “The Nile sources,” he told a friend, “are valuable only as a means of opening my mouth with power among men. It is this power which I hope to remedy an immense evil.”

He discovered Lake Ngami (1849), the Zambesi River (1851), The Victoria Falls of the Zambesi River (1855) and Lake Nyasa (1859).

David Livingstone first editions remain highly collectable to this day, notably his first book ‘Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa’ (1857) and ‘Narrative of an Expedition to the Zanzibar and Its Tributaries’ (published upon his return to England in 1865), both of which are scarce complete with all maps present. These works should be cornerstones for any serious collector of Africana or British Exploration, and are particularly sought-after in the original cloth in great condition, or even signed or inscribed, which can see prices paid for such works increase to many thousands of pounds.

Appointed British consul in central Africa, he went back with the express purpose of wiping out the slave trade and determining the watershed for the draining of the Nyasa-Tanganika region.  Exhausted and near death he spent some months in Ujiji in 1871 an expedition was sent out under Sir Henry M Stanley to find Livingstone and their famous encounter began with Stanley’s anticlimactic “Dr Livingstone I presume?”

Livingstone died in an African village in 1873.  His body was taken to England and buried in Westminster Abbey. ‘The Last Journals of David Livingstone’ was published posthumously in 2 vols in 1874 by Livingstone’s friend and staunch fellow anti-slavery campaigner Horace Waller, and this work is also considered a key work in his canon, again rare to find bound in very good or better condition publisher’s cloth.

Collect David Livingstone Rare Books

 
 

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  1. First editions, 5 vols including Blaikie's Life, 8vo, uniform half calf gilt by Henry Young of Liverpool, tan and black labels, a fine set. 'Missionary Travels' - folding tinted lithographed frontispiece and 2 plates, engraved portrait, folding table, 2 folding engraved maps at end with routes supplied in red, wood-engraved plates and illustrations, 1857; 'Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi...', folding wood-engraved frontispiece and 12 plates, illustrations, folding engraved map with route in red, 1858; 'The Last Journals...' 2 vols, wood-engraved portrait, 20 plates, mostly wood-engraved, one double-page, folding map with routes in red (second larger map loose in pocket at end of Blaikie's Life, short tear to fold), illustrations, 1874; BLAIKIE (W.G.) 'The Personal Life of David Livingstone', engraved portrait, folding hand-coloured map, with map from Last Journals loose in pocket at end, 1880, together 4 works in 5, first editions, with loosely-inserted advertisement for Lett's Extract Book inscribed in ink at head 'Presented to Dr. Livingstone with the Publisher's best wishes'.

    £5,000
  2. First edition, 8vo, xxvi, 293 pp., frontispiece portrait, additional wood-engraved title, coloured folding map, wood-engravings in text, original red blind-stamped cloth gilt, gilt pictorial vignettes to upper cover and spine, a fine copy.

    £850
  3. First edition, 8vo, Original terracotta sand-grain cloth, title gilt to the spine, blind panels to spine and boards, brown coated endpapers. Folding tinted lithograph frontispiece, and 22 other plates including lithograph opposite page 225, illustrations to the text, 3 folding maps, one of them in pocket at end. A fine copy.

    £1,250
  4. First edition. 16mo, 64 pp., wood-engraved folding map by E. Whymper, original red printed pictorial boards, an excellent example.

    £1,500
  5. First edition. 8vo, xxvi, 293 pp., frontispiece portrait, additional wood-engraved title, coloured folding map, wood-engravings in text, original red blind-stamped cloth gilt, gilt pictorial vignettes to upper cover and spine, a fine copy.

    £750
  6. First edition. 8vo., ix, 687pp., folding wood-engraved frontispiece, engraved portrait, 2 folding maps (1 in pocket at end), 22 full-page wood-engraved plates, folding plan, illustrations in the text, original brown blindstamped cloth gilt, rear inner hinge repaired, front inner hinge just starting but firm, a very good bright copy.

    £850
  7. 3 pages, 8vo, autograph letter, signed, browned at edges, together with a photograph of Livingstone, short split to fold.

    £1,500
  8. First edition. 16mo (16.2 x 10 cm.), 64 pp., wood-engraved folding map by E. Whymper, original red printed pictorial wrappers, small defects to spine, an excellent example.

    £1,500
  9. 3 pages, 8vo, lined paper, detailing the features of the thermometer he used for measuring soil temperature ('...the scale was made of box wood & had a hinge 2 or 3 inches above the bulb...'), with a sketch, explaining the basic requirements of a thermometer to take similar measurements ('...any thermometer which allows separation of the bulb from the case will do...') and suggesting manufacturers, ink slightly faded, remains of mount on final blank.

    £4,000
  10. First edition. 8vo., ix, 687pp., folding wood-engraved frontispiece, engraved portrait, 2 folding maps (1 in pocket at end), 22 full-page wood-engraved plates, folding plan, illustrations in the text, light foxing to plates, contemporary calf gilt, covers ruled in gilt, spine richly gilt in compartments, red morocco lettering piece, rebacked preserving spine, an attractive example.

    £675
 

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