New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1890. Montbard, G. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 233 of 250 copies, deluxe edition, two volumes (complete), quarto size, 1045 total pp., signed by Henry M. Stanley. Near fine. Item #CNJSW01
Henry M. Stanley (1841-1904) ventured into Africa numerous times, and this particular two-volume set accounts his journey into "darkest Africa" to rescue and offer relief to Mehmed Emin Pasha (1840-1892). It was a brutal journey; Stanley's expedition travelled up the Congo River, losing two-thirds of the group by the time he reached Emin, through both death and desertion. While the expedition appeared to be solely to rescue Emin, other writings from Stanley indicate that another goal was to annex part of Zanzibar, a region in Tanzania. Shortly after the expedition had been completed, a wave of sleeping sickness ravaged areas of present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo and western Uganda, which many say was brought by Stanley and Emin's companies.
Stanley has long been a controversial figure, and there are conflicting views of his treatment of the people of Africa; he worked for King Leopold II of Belgium (1835-1909), known for his brutal treatment of the people of the Congo, but Stanley often did not agree with Leopold and would disobey instructions from the king in order to avoid atrocities and inhuman treatment of native peoples.
This two-volume set is a thorough narrative of Stanley's expedition into the Congo; it is the deluxe limited edition of Stanley's book, signed by him and accompanied by three maps and a myriad of illustrations. Six etchings are by French artist George Montbard, whose real name was Charles August Loye (1841-1905); these prints are signed in pencil "G. Montbard", as was typically the case with Loye's work.
___DESCRIPTION: Half black leather with bevelled vellum boards, title and facsimile of author's signature with an illustration of a flag and branches in gilt on the front board, decorative gilt borders along the edges of the leather on the front and rear boards, the spine with five raised bands and gilt lettering, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges uncut, limitation page printed in red in Volume I, both volumes with engraved frontispiece portraits of the author at different times of his life with tissue guards, title page in red and black, six etchings signed in pencil by G. Montbard and 150 woodcuts throughout both volumes, Volume I with a colour fold-out map titled "A Map of the Route of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition Through Africa", Volume II with two colour fold-out maps and a series of charts, including one folding out in three panels, and a facsmile from Stanley's notebook, original ribbon marker present in both volumes; quarto size (11.75" by 9.75"), pagination: Volume I:  [i-iii] iv-xv [xvi-xvii]  2-529 ; Volume II:  [i-iii] iv-xv [xvi-xvii]  2-472, one of 250 copies, this number 233, signed by Henry M. Stanley on the limitation page in Volume I.
___CONDITION: Volumes are near fine, the binding clean overall and supple, strong, square text blocks with solid hinges, the interiors are clean and bright, and all illustrations are present with tissue guards; slight professional restoration to the vellum binding which had begun to lift, boards with slight soiling and exceedingly minor rubbing, the gilt illustration on the front board of Volume I is slightly rubbed, both volumes with mild off-setting from illustrations and turn-ins, the fold-out map in Volume I has a small crease at one corner, and there is an inscription in pencil on the front paste-down endpaper in Volume I which appears to be vintage bookseller markings, underneath which a prior owner has made an erasure mark which is somewhat visible; in summary, a strong, solid set with near fine bindings, the interiors incredibly clean and bright, almost as new other than the expected offsetting.
___POSTAGE: Please note that this is an extremely large and heavy set, and therefore additional postage will apply; please inquire for details.
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