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Livingstone: the very copy exhibited at Printing and the Mind of Man

LIVINGSTONE, DAVID. Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa; including a sketch of sixteen years’ residence in the interior of Africa

London: John Murray, 1857

Colored lithographed folding frontispiece of Victoria Falls, engraved portrait, 23 wood-engraved or lithographed plates, 2 folding maps. Contemporary red half calf and marbled boards. Rebacked preserving spine. Foxed. Cloth case

FIRST EDITION. Presentation copy inscribed by the author: “Mrs Clare with the kindest regards of David Livingstone.” Livingstone lived many years in South Africa and made three great expeditions, the first described in this book 1853-56, and the others in 1858-64 and 1865-73.

“David Livingstone, perhaps the greatest of the African explorers … discovered the Zambesi River at Secheke and followed it northwards, eventually reaching the west coast of Africa at Luanda, Angola, and the east coast at Quelimane, Mozambique. In 1855 he discovered the great falls of Zambesi and named them the Victoria Falls” (PMM). Livingstone’s accomplishments in African exploration and geography are almost unequaled. He covered about a third of the Continent from the Cape to the Equator and from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

This volume describes Livingstone’s first and greatest expedition (1853-56) in which, among many other things, he discovered the great falls of the Zambesi and named them Victoria Falls. Europeans had never before seen much of the vast territory that Livingstone covered. “The geographical results of his journeys were of supreme importance, and made it possible to fill in great stretches of the maps of Central Africa which hitherto had been blank” (PMM). A detailed account of his years of African exploration, during which he “investigated the geology, botany, and natural history of the country he traversed,” Livingstone’s Missionary Travels “thoroughly reflects the man and is delightful reading” (DNB).

Provenance the celebrated collection of Haskell Norman, with his bookplate, Christie’s New York, 29 October 1998, lot 1173. Norman 1377.

Exhibited: this very copy was exhibited at the original 1963 Printing and the Mind of Man exhibition (IPEX). Printing and the Mind of Man 341.

$16,000