London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, 1890. First Edition. Signed limited Demy Quarto Edition de Luxe. #230 of 250 copies printed. Quarto (30cm). Two volumes half-bound in black morocco and vellum, stamped in gilt on front and spines. top edges gilt; plain endpapers; I: [ii],[xvi],529,pp; II: [ii],[xvi],472pp; 2 photogravure frontispieces, 6 etchings, 2 large color folding maps backed in linen, 1 color folding map, 1 color diagram, 36 chine collé relief plates, numerous in-text relief illustrations, and a facsimile of a leaf from Stanley's original notebook. Untrimmed. Signed by author on limitation leaf; each etching signed in pencil by the artist, G. Montbard. A sturdy set, rubbed, with minor external dustsoil, red stains to front board of vol. 2 as though transferred from another book, internally with occasional browning to edges, plate supports browned and foxed, otherwise clean: around Very Good.
Stanley's account of the 1886-1889 expedition he led to rescue Emin Pasha, Governor of the Egyptian province of Equatoria, after his administration was overwhelmed during the Mahdist War. The expedition passed through the Belgian Congo, including a grueling five-month passage through the Ituri rain forest (the darkness of which inspired this book's title). Eventually they reached Emin, persuaded him to leave, and made their way to the eastern cost. In Darkest Africa was published soon after the conclusion of the expedition, initially to great acclaim. But as more information emerged from other participants, detailing high levels of death and brutality in the expedition, Stanley 's reputation suffered considerably. HOWGEGO IV S60.