New York: Harper & Brothers, 1873. First Edition. Octavo (21.5cm); red cloth, diagonal rib, stamped in black and gilt, pictorial spine; brown endpapers; xviii, 509+4pp, frontis., 3 fold-out maps. Boards mildly soiled, with scratches and rubbed extremities; spine tanned, heel and crown frayed. Textblock shows gentle handling wear, smudges and soiling, light foxing; first fold-out map has small tear. Sound and complete, Very Good.
Nicholas Pike delivers a first-hand, c.1870's account of his travels to Mauritius, a tiny island nation some 1200 miles off the southeastern coast of Africa. Like neighboring Madagascar, Mauritius is home to a wealth of rare endemic species, many endangered or threatened due to habitat loss. Like its Dodo neighbor, the title bird—the Aphanateryx, or red rail—was one such species that is now extinct. Nevertheless, Pike describes the living residents and communities of Mauritius to great detail in this travelogue, which stands as an interesting look at the island during its time as a British crown colony.