In 1869, Baker, one of the greatest explorers of Africa, was appointed by the Khedive Isma’il to a four-year term as governor-general of the equatorial Nile basin, with the rank of pasha and major-general in the Ottoman army. It was the most senior post a European ever received under an Egyptian administration. According to the khedive’s firman, Baker’s duties included annexing the equatorial Nile basin, establishing Egyptian authority over the region south of Gondokoro, suppressing the slave trade, introducing cotton cultivation, organizing a network of trading stations throughout the annexed territories, and opening the great lakes near the equator to navigation. The expedition produced mixed results. Although he had suppressed the slave trade in some areas and had extended the khedive’s authority to Gondokoro and Fatick, he had failed to pacify the lawless region between these two places. Moreover, he was unable to annex the wealthy kingdoms of Bunyoro and Buganda. Despite Baker’s dubious performance, the khedive bestowed on him the imperial order of the Osmanieh, second class.
Baker received a hero’s welcome on his return to England. Apart from various glowing newspaper accounts of his travels, the prince of Wales met him to learn first hand of his experiences in Africa. On 8 December 1873 he received an enthusiastic reception at the Royal Geographical Society, and the following year he published the present account which further enhanced his popularity.
First edition. 2 volumes, 8vo., viii, 447; viii, 588 pp., 2 portrait frontispieces, numerous wood-engraved plates, 2 maps (1 large folding), original green cloth gilt, light wear to extremities, an excellent example.
Blackmer 66; Hilmy I, 49 (later edition); Czech p11.
Stock ID: 94072