WANDERINGS IN WEST AFRICA From Liverpool to Fernando Po. By a F.R.G.S.
[Burton, Richard F.]
Price: 2,850.00 USD
(London: Tinsley Brothers, 1863), According to Penzer, Burton intended to suppress his name entirely from this work, though our copy does indeed have "R. F. Burton" on the spine. In fact, the rarest of the bindings has the suppression successfully made. But this is a truly fine copy of this fragile book. Burton was appointed consul at Fernando Po in 1861 and he used his post to explore the contiguous areas of Nigeria and Sierra Leone, as well as Madeira and Tenerife. Fascinated by the high incidence of European mortality in West Africa, he believed it possible to render the region "not more unhealthy than the East or West Indies." Burton's publication of the book anonymously as a "Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society" ( F.R.G.S) "may have been a slap at the Royal Geographical Society, for Burton was at odds with the organization's leadership at the time over the Nile's sources. The acerbic dedication was 'to the true friends of Africa- not the "Philanthropist" or Exeter Hall'. Modern gold-mining in West Africa can be directly linked to this work. "Although it was well known that there was gold on the Gold Coast, nothing was done to develop it, and it was Burton who, in his "Wanderings in West Africa", drew public attention again to this ancient gold-field. 2 volumes. First edition. With a folding map in volume one and frontispiece plate in volume two. 8vo, original dark purple-brown cloth gilt lettered on spine, with blind ruled borders on covers. x, 303; vi, 295. A brilliant unopened copy but for name labels removed and clipped title pages.