BURTON, Sir Richard F; James MacQueen.

The Nile Basin.


The Nile Basin.
Part I. Showing Tanganyika to be Ptolemy’s Western Lake Reservoir. A memoir read before the Royal Geographical Society, November 14, 1864. With prefatory remarks … Part II. Captain Speke’s Discovery of the Source of the Nile. A review by James M’Queen ….
London, Tinsley Brothers, 1864.

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Scarce. Following the death of Speke, on the eve of his proposed debate with Burton concerning the source of the Nile, there was a great increase in sympathy for the unfortunate explorer. Indeed, in Speke’s obituary in the Times, he was credited with being the true discoverer of this holy grail of African adventurers. All this was too much for Burton who delivered before the Royal Geographical Society the speech he had intended for his debate with Speke. This lecture is here printed for the first time, along with MacQueen’s highly critical remarks on Speke. MacQueen had first confronted Speke in a meeting of the R.G.S. in June 1859, questioning the accuracy of his quoted latitudes relative to vegetation at which Speke was evasive. Burton tried to make out that he bore Speke no ill-will, but contemporary reviews saw the book as a tasteless attack upon a dead man.


First edition. 8vo., 195pp., 4 pages ads at end, 3 maps, original purple-brown cloth gilt, neat repairs to joints and spine, old stamps to verso of title and last leaf, a very good copy.

Provenance: King’s Inn Library Dublin (stamp to verso of title and last page).


Penzerp74-75; Casada 49.


Stock ID: 95306