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John Hanning Speke

John Hanning Speke (1827-1864) made three exploratory trips to Africa, the first two (1854-55, 1857-59) accompanying Sir Richard Francis Burton. He returned there in 1860 with his friend and fellow Indian army officer James Augustus Grant (1827-1892) on an expedition organized by the Royal Geographic Society and supported by the British government.

On 28 July 1862, Speke reached the point where the White Nile left Lake Victoria, naming it Ripon Falls—and establishing in his mind the veracity of his claim that the river began there. His and Grant’s successes are undisputed.  They were the first Europeans to cross equatorial eastern Africa, and their explorations added more than 500 miles to the known geography of the area.

Speke has left us with two accounts: Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile (1863); and What led to the discovery of the source of the Nile (1864).

 

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  1. First edition, 8vo, xxxi, [1], 658 pp., 32 pages ads at end (one dated April june 1863), engraved frontispiece portrait of Speke (lightly foxed), engraved portrait of Grant, 24 engraved plates, 2 maps (1 folding), illustrations in text, original brown cloth gilt, gilt pictorial vignette to upper cover, light wear, an excellent copy.

    £2,400
  2. Octavo. Original reddish-brown cloth, titles to spine gilt, blind panels to the boards, green coated endpapers, binder's ticket of Edmonds & Remnants to the rear pastedown. Frontispiece, folding map of the Somali coast and double-page map of Eastern Africa. Complete with the publisher's 32-page catalogue to rear. Tips and headcaps very lightly bumped and rubbed, a few minor abrasions to front board, small indentation to top edge of rear, customary mild spotting to prelims and advertisements. An excellent copy.

    £3,250
  3. First edition. 8vo., xxxi, [1], 658 pp., engraved frontispiece portrait of Speke, engraved portrait of Grant, contemporary half calf, spine richly gilt, morocco label, light crease to title, ownership inscription to first blank, a very good copy.

    £1,350
 

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