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BRUCE, James.

Travels to discover the source of the Nile,

in the years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773.

Stock Code
London, G.G. J. and J. Robinson, 1790

The first exploration to reach the source of the Blue Nile.

'Bruce has been described as the poet, and his work the epic, of African travel—probably because he recounted his exploits more from memory than from journals over a dozen years after they had taken place. Born in Scotland and educated at Harrow and Edinburgh University, Bruce inherited his father's estate at the age of twenty-seven and traveled around the Mediterranean visiting Roman ruins. In 1763, he was appointed British consul at Algiers, where he continued his study of classical ruins and the Arabic language. In 1768, with Italian artist and friend Luigi Balugani, he resolved to mount an expedition to search for the source of the Nile River. They were the first Europeans to focus exclusively on that goal.

Balugani and Bruce arrived in Alexandria, Egypt, in June 1768. Drawing upon earlier medical training, Bruce passed himself off as a doctor

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First edition. 5 volumes, 4to., engraved title vignettes, three large folding maps, 55 engraved plates including 53 natural history studies, four leaves of Ethiopian script,contemporary mottled calf, gilt corners and edges, sometime rebacked, red and brown morocco labels, endpapers spotted, old light waterstain to lower fore-corner volume V, a good set.


Gay 44; Nissen ZBI 617; Hilmy I, 91; Blackmer 221; Playfair, Tripoli, 120.

Stock ID:96831

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