First Footsteps in East Africa; or an Exploration of Harrar. Richard Francis Burton.
First Footsteps in East Africa; or an Exploration of Harrar

First Footsteps in East Africa; or an Exploration of Harrar

Hardcover, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1856. First Edition. Octavo, pp. Xxxviiii, 648. Frontispiece color portrait of Harar, 3 other color plates, 7 illustrations in the text, 2 full page maps, 5 appendices, index, 24 pages of ads. Bound in publisher's brick red cloth with gilt spine titles. Spine slightly slanted. Spine age darkened and moderately soiled, moderate wear to all edges of binding, moderate soiling to page edges and covers. Previous owner bookplate. This is Burton's account of his first exploratory expedition to Africa (1854-1855). He had 3 other British Officers under his command, including John Hanning Speke. Speke and the others explored Somaliland while Burton became the first European to successfully enter and return from the holy and forbidden Islamic city of Harrar in Abyssnia. Returning from Harrar, Burton, Speke, and the others reunited at Berbera. Speke had accomplished nearly nothing in Somalia because his local guides betrayed him, stole from him, and then abandoned him. Burton had selected the guides and had them arrested and punished in Berbera. This infuriated the Somalis and 200 spearmen attacked the British camp at night. Burton took a spear through the face, it pierced his cheek, ripped up his hard palate, and exited through his other cheek. Speke was stabbed repeatedly in the legs, captured, and carried off to the Somali camp to be executed. He miraculously escaped. Burton and Speke suffered financial losses. As commander, Burton appropriated Speke's diary of the trip, clumsily edited it, and published it as Appendix I in this book. Burton's written description of the Somali attack led some to believe he accused Speke of cowardice. The seeds of their later bitter falling out were sown. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 648 pages. [Item #77203]

Price: $3,000.00

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