Missionary Travels in South Africa by David Livingstone
First Edition Published by John Murray, London in 1857
Custom Binding by Sims Bindery, Mamhilad, South Wales
Full Title: Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa; including a Sketch of Sixteen Years' Residence in the Interior of Africa, and a Journey from the Cape of Good Hope to Loanda on the West Coast; thence across the Continent, down the River Zambezi, to the Eastern Ocean
Binding Details: Fine contemporary binding by the Sims Bindery of full tan calf leather with raised bands to the spine with red morocco title label as well as elaborate giltwork. Double gilt lines to the boards with floral stops at the corners. There are hand-sewn silk endbands and hand-marbled endpapers. Laid into the book is a signed card from Andrew Sims stating that the book was bound by the Sims Bindery.
Book Details: This is a first edition of “Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa; including a Sketch of Sixteen Years' Residence in the Interior of Africa, and a Journey from the Cape of Good Hope to Loanda on the West Coast; thence across the Continent, down the River Zambezi, to the Eastern Ocean” published by John Murray, London in 1857.
The book is the account of Livingstone's first great expedition (1853-56), during which he explored the Zambesi and its Victoria Falls. One of the most important of all 19th century books on African exploration. David Livingstone, the Scottish medical missionary, is known to history as the greatest explorer of his age and a dedicated humanitarian who devoted his life to the eradication of the African slave trade. He was a national hero to his contemporaries and time has confirmed his reputation as one of the greatest of the eminent Victorians, both in his achievement and in his influence.
The book measures approximately 8” x 6” x 2.5” and includes 9 preliminary pages, 688 pages, a folding frontispiece and 22 other plates, illustrations to the text, 3 folding maps (one of them in an end-pocket.
This copy conforms to Bradlow's Variant No. 7 with the frontispiece as well as plate 8 and 17 being wood-cuts by Whymper and the ads being dated November 1, 1857.
Condition Report: The binding is in FINE condition. Internally, the text block is sound and secure. There is minor browning/spotting as usual for this title, particularly to the portrait frontispiece, otherwise the interior is in very good condition. There are no signs of previous ownership. Overall, this is a beautiful binding that houses one of the most important exploration books ever published.
Photographs of the binding, endpapers, frontispiece, binder’s card, and some examples of the contents from the book appear in the photo section of the listing.