PARK, Mungo. Travels in the interior districts of Africa: performed under the direction and patronage of the African Association, in the years 1795, 1796, and 1797. With an appendix, containing geographical illustrations of Africa by Major Rennell. Second edition. London, W. Bulmer and Co., 1799.4to. Contemporary mottled calf, skilfully rebacked with the original spine laid down, spine richly gilt. . With engraved portrait, 2 plates with musical scores, 3 folding maps (1 tear rep.) and 5 engraved plates (2 folding). XXVIII,372,XCII,(2) pp. Published in the same year as the first edition; with bookplate of J.S.W.S. Erle Drax. - Mungo Park (1771-1806) was the first European to reach the well-nigh fabulous waters of the Niger. He followed the river almost to the Senegal valley. He finally reached Gambia after a lengthy return journey. His journal included a detailed description of travel conditions, the nature of the area, rivers, and customs of various tribes. 'Park's Travels had an immediate success and was translated into most European languages. It has become a classic of travel literature, and its scientific observations on the botany and meteorology of the region, and on the social and domestic life of the negroes, have remained of lasting value. Park's career was short, but he made the first great practical advance in the opening-up of Central Africa' (PMM 253). Written in a straightforward unpretentious, narrative style, it gave readers their first realistic description of everyday life in west Africa, depicting without the censorious, patronizing contempt which so often has disfigured European accounts of Africa (DNB).- Some age-browning and offsetting of the plates otherwise a beautiful copy. Cox I, p.394; Gay 2788; Ibrahim-Hilmy II, p.93; Hess & Coger 5655; Scheybeler,The Paolo Bianchi Collection, 279; Howgego P21. [Boeknr.: 5492 ]

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