London: John Murray, 1826. First Edition. First printing. Quarto (28cm). Later nineteenth-century grey calf, gilt and blind rolls around outer perimeter of boards, tooled in gilt on spine, titled on red leather spine label, all edges marbled; marbled endpapers; xlviii,335,,269,pp; frontispiece, large folding map, 1 hand-colored print, 35 black and white engravings, a few in-text wood engravings. Bookplate of traveler and classical scholar John Bacon Sawrey Morritt, Esq., of Rokeby Park. A sound copy, joints expertly conserved with green cloth, lightly rubbed, lower half dampstained throughout, some leaves with visible tidelines, some merely rippled, otherwise bright and unfoxed: complete and Good.
Extensively illustrated account of the Bornu Mission, an expedition to find the source of the Niger in the kingdom of Bornu (now Nigeria). Denham, the leader of the expedition, was "disastrous...pushy, self-important, and malicious" (ODNB). The party traveled from Murzuk to Lake Chad through the Sahara Desert, along a route reportedly scattered with skeletons. After the explorers' return to London, Denham published this account of the journey, "in which he suppressed as much as possible all mention of his companions, and took the credit for some of their discoveries" (ODNB). He was widely applauded, and his account has been described as "[t]he most interesting and important work yet published on the subject of African researches" (Lowndes). Meanwhile, his maligned colleague Clapperton returned to Africa, where he soon died of dysentery. LOWNDES p. 629. Cf. WORK pp. 21, 31. HOWGEGO C33 & D18.