STANLEY, Henry Morton.

In darkest Africa


In darkest Africa
or the quest, rescue, and retreat of Emin Governor of Equatoria.
London, Sampson Low, 1890.

In stock


One of very few copies specially bound for presentation by the Emin Pasha Relief Committee.

The list of subscribers to the Relief Fund on p. 35 identifies fifteen individuals (including the comtesse de Noailles) and three organisations (the Royal Geographical Society, the Egyptian Government, and Messrs. Gray, Dawes & Co. of London), of which only Sir William Mackinnon, Bt and the Egyptian Government subscribed sums larger than de Noailles’ generous sum of £1,000; on the basis of this list, it seems likely that there were only about eighteen sets of this issue for subscribers to the Relief Fund.

This important association set was presented to Comtesse Helene de Noailles, who had gifted the Relief Fund £1,000 in order that A.J. Mountenay Jephson could join the expedition. Despite his lack of experience of tropical travel, Mountenay Jephson played an important role in the expedition’s success – he was the first officer to meet Emin – and he wrote Emin Pasha and the Rebellion at the Equator (London, 1890), a bestselling account of his experiences during the expedition, on his return. Although his familial relationship to de Noailles is unclear, they were close to one another, and he lived with her at Eastbourne as a young man.

Stanley’s remarkable account of his expedition from the East Coast through the heart of Africa to the land of The Nile. This expedition was originally intended as a rescue mission for Emin Pasha after Khartoum fell into hands of the Mahdists and General Gordon was killed. Although failing in its primary objective, the expedition accomplished great things, Stanley discovered the great snow-capped range of Ruwenzori, the Mountains of the Moon, besides a new lake which he named the Albert Edward Nyanza, and a large south-western extension of Lake Victoria, and he had come upon the pigmy tribes who had inhabited the great African forest since prehistoric times. On his way down to the coast Stanley had concluded treaties with various native chiefs which he transferred to Sir William Mackinnon’s company and so laid the foundation of the British East African Protectorate.


First edition. 2 volumes, 8vo., xv, 529; xv, 472 pp., 2 pages ads at end, 2 frontispieces, 3 folding maps (2 large in pockets at end of each volume), 37 plates, numerous text illustrations, special publisher’s presentation binding, full crimson hard-grained morocco gilt, covers with wide gilt borders, gilt facsimile of Stanley’s signature to upper covers, spines gilt in compartments, all edges gilt, with a gilt morocco, ad personam presentation label on the upper pastedown, first volume lightly foxed throughout, an excellent set of a scarce issue.

Provenance: Comtesse Helene de Noailles (crimson morocco presentation label).



Stock ID: 98893