“One of the most famous books in the broad spectrum of African exploration, this title acquainted many a nineteenth-century reader with the wonders of the Dark Continent.” (Czech).
“Stanley landed in Zanzibar on 6 January 1871 to begin the search for Dr. David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer whose whereabouts in central Africa had become a question of international concern since his last letter of 30 May 1869.
Within a month, the novice explorer had outfitted his expedition with the best of everything. He prepared for almost every contingency—except failure. He divided his men into five caravans and sent them out on a staggered schedule. Through bouts with fever, hostile encounters, and the deaths of two of his caravan leaders, Stanley trudged toward Ujiji on the shore of Lake Tanganyika, where a sick and weak older white man was rumoured to reside. The journey lasted 236 days. On the morning of 3 November, with an American flag flying on a pole, Stanley led his remaining fifty-four men down a mountain toward a lake and his historic meeting with Dr. Livingstone.
Stanley’s dispatch about the event took eight months to reach the coast by messenger. From Zanzibar it travelled to Bombay, where it was telegraphed to London, then relayed to New York. On 2 July 1872 the front page of the New York Herald informed the world that Livingstone had been found. With Stanley’s care and attention, Livingstone regained his strength, and the pair spent four months together, bonding almost as father and son.
Stanley returned to Europe to a hero’s welcome, though he had to contend with accusations that the Livingstone letters and journals he brought back were forgeries; members of the Royal Geographical Society wanted to ignore the American who had found “their man” in Africa. But he received the gratitude of Livingstone’s family and official thanks from Queen Victoria. The public’s appetite for his published story was voracious.” (Delaney).
8vo,. xxiii, 736pp., 6 maps (1 large folding backed with fine linen in pocket at end, 3 other folding, 1 full-page, 1 in text), mounted photograph frontispiece of Stanley, numerous full-page and other illustrations, contemporary half calf gilt, lightly rubbed.
Stock ID: 90333