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Bruce Travels To Discover Source Of Nile 1790 5v 4to 60 Plates Maps Egypt 1st Nr For Sale

Bruce Travels To Discover Source Of Nile 1790 5v 4to 60 Plates Maps Egypt 1st Nr

OFFERED WITH is THE RARE 1790 FIRST EDITION OF JAMES BRUCE’S “TRAVELS TO DISCOVER THE SOURCE OF THE NILE,” printed in 5 quarto volumes at Edinburgh and ADORNED WITH 60 PLATES, PLANS AND FOLDING MAPS, INCLUDING 3 GLORIOUS FOLDING MAPS OF THE NILE AND THE PERSIAN GULF, one of the great literary masterworks of travel literature and a centrepiece of any collection concerning African travel, with the extraordinary illustrations in excellent impressions. The 5-volume set may be referenced as Blackmer 221 and Stanley 58.

 

The full title of the first volume reads as follows:

 

“Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile, In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773. / In Five Volumes. / By James Bruce of Kinnaird, Esq. F.R.S. / Vol. I. [to Vol. V.] / … Edinburgh: / Printed By J. Ruthven, / For G.G.J. And J. Robinson, Paternoster-Tow, / London. / M.DCC.XC [1790].”

 

THE FIRST EDITION OF JAMES BRUCE’S ‘TRAVELS TO DISCOVER THE SOURCE OF THE NILE,’ IN FIVE QUARTO VOLUMES, PRINTED AT EDINBURGH IN 1790 AND ADORNED WITH 60 ENGRAVED PLATES, MAPS AND PLANS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY. BRUCE’S ‘TRAVELS,’ IN WHICH HE DISCOVERED THE SOURCE OF THE BLUE NILE, CONSTITUTED THE FIRST EUROPEAN JOURNEY THROUGH ABYSSINIA SINCE THE 1630’S, AND DID MUCH TO RESTORE EUROPEAN INTEREST IN THE AFRICAN CONTINENT.

 

BRUCE’S ‘TRAVELS TO DISCOVER THE SOURCE OF THE NILE’ IS UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED AS A MASTERPIECE OF TRAVEL LITERATURE AND A CENTERPIECE OF ANY COLLECTION CONCERNING AFRICAN TRAVEL, BOTH FOR THE STUNNING MAPS AND PLATES, AND FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL LITERARY QUALITY OF BRUCE’S ACCOUNT.

 

From Shackley: “James Bruce (1730-1794), the first modern European explorer of Africa, travelled from Alexandria in Egypt to Ethiopia and 'discovered' the headwaters of the Blue Nile. IT WAS A JOURNEY THAT REKINDLED EUROPEAN INTEREST IN THE INTERIOR OF AFRICA, ESPECIALLY IN THE ELUSIVE MAIN SOURCE OF THE NILE.”

 

By the 1780s, more than 150 years had passed since any European had visited Abyssinia except for the French surgeon Poncet, and Bruce's account of his travels provided important information. Upon his return to Britain, Bruce’s fame as an explorer rivalled that of his maritime contemporary Captain James Cook. The 59 plates, plans and maps, based on Bruce’s and Baugani's drawings, and expertly engraved by Heath, include botanical and zoological specimens, antiquities, artifacts, and plans of monuments. But the interest of Bruce’s travels is to be found as much in their literary qualities as in his portrayal of Abyssinia. ‘He will always remain the poet, and his work the epic, of African travel.’ (Blackmer paraphrased; the quotation from ODNB). The literary quality of his narrative cast doubts on its veracity, which led to several parodies of his work, the best known of which is The Travels of Baron Munchausen. Nevertheless, the investigations of other over subsequent centuries have amply proved the accuracy of Bruce’s accounts.

 

ODNB continues:

 

“In conformity with 18th-century conventions of travel writing, it is an 'immethodical miscellany', ranging from striking adventure stories, reported dialogues, and Shandean asides boasting of his success with African women, through a pedantic history of ancient Ethiopia (which occupies most of the first two volumes), to vivid sketches of contemporary Abyssinian life, politics, and natural history. It was immensely successful, most of the original edition being sold to retail booksellers within thirty-two hours, and was rapidly translated into French and German … BRUCE’S LONG AND ENERGETIC NARRATIVE REMAINS ONE OF THE GREAT TRAVEL ACCOUNTS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.”

 

The five volumes are textually complete and are paginated as follows: [Vol. I] xii, lxxxiii, 535; [Vol. II] [iv], viii, 718; [Vol. III] [iv], viii, 759; [Vol. IV] [iv], viii, 695; [Vol. V]  [iv], iv, iii-xiv, 230, [xii]. Each volume measures about 31.0 cm by 25.0 cm by 6.0 cm; each leaf measures about 300 mm by 240 mm.

 

The set lacks 1 plate (all maps are present).

 

The set is in excellent condition internally, with clean pages, clear print and ample margins throughout. The plates, plans and maps are excellent impressions throughout – very attractive examples. The folding maps are very pleasing example – entirely without wear at the folds. Internally, this is a very pleasing example.

 

The set is uniformly bound in late 18th century full polished calf. The original marbled endpapers have been retained. The book-blocks remain solid and supple. Nevertheless, the bindings are rather worn, with the leather absent from the spine of the first volume and from about half of the spine of the fifth volume. The spine of the third volume is reinforced with tape at the head and foot. Several boards are detached, including those of the first volume. The rear board of the second volume shows three cellophane tape marks. Otherwise, the boards are actually in pleasing condition with only minor wear. In short, the set is an excellent candidate for rebinding, since it is unusually nice internally and since the book-blocks, boards and endpapers remain in pleasing condition.

 

In all, this is THE RARE 1790 FIRST EDITION OF JAMES BRUCE’S “TRAVELS TO DISCOVER THE SOURCE OF THE NILE,” printed in 5 quarto volumes at Edinburgh and ADORNED WITH 60 PLATES, PLANS AND FOLDING MAPS, INCLUDING 3 GLORIOUS FOLDING MAPS OF THE NILE AND THE PERSIAN GULF, one of the great literary masterworks of travel literature and a centrepiece of any collection concerning African travel, with the extraordinary illustrations in excellent impressions, and OFFERED WITH .

 

 

Please take the time necessary to review the photos below in order to gain a better understanding of the content and condition of the volume. Please also take a moment to view my other sales of rare and desirable English and Continental printed books dating from the 15th through the 19th century.

 

Shipment is free for customers in the United States and Canada. For U.S. clients we ship either FedEx Ground for large shipments or USPS Priority for single books or smaller amounts. We ship using Canada Post for Canadian customers.

 

 Canadian buyers please note that we list on .com which automatically charges for international shipment. Your invoice will be amended to reflect free shipping.

 

 Please note as of January 2013 USPS has increased International shipping charges on average by 25%.

 

We charge for shipment of international orders.  We try to ship using USPS flat rate priority-mail boxes and we charge for shipment at cost or slightly below. Small 12mo books are shipped for USD 24.00. The cost of shipment for any book in Octavo, Quarto or small folio format is USD 60.00. The cost of shipment for large folios or quartos of equivalent size is USD 78.00. Multiple folio volumes and sets are, of course, generally more expensive and the cost of their shipment will always be quoted in the listing. With all of our sales if an individual client wins multiple books we charge only charge for the shipment of one book and cover the cost of shipment of the rest. Please note that mobile devices do not yet display correctly the shipment costs for international customers. Please enquire or consult the non-mobile site in order to obtain complete information concerning the cost of shipment.

   

All purchases save those by Canadian clients are shipped from New York State once per week, weather permitting. If you require faster service or special handling please let us know and we will do our best to accomodate.

               


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Bruce Travels To Discover Source Of Nile 1790 5v 4to 60 Plates Maps Egypt 1st Nr

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