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  • The Albert N’yanza, Great Basin of the Nile, and Explorations of the Nile Sources – New Single Volume Edition – Sir Samuel W. Baker – 1876

    Published by MacMillan, London in 1876 a new single volume edition. Octavo, 499 pages, plus publishers catalogue. With a general map of the Country and Nile Basin, numerous illustrations some full page. Original green cloth covered binding with embossed design in black to front, gilt titles and design to spine. A few knocks but looking pretty good. Internally some patches of foxing, original chocolate end paper, still a good copy.

    Samuel Baker was another one of those remarkable Victorian era individuals. This account represents one of the most important written on the Nile River. Speke and Grant had already proclaimed the Southern shore of Lake Victoria as the source of the White Nile. Baker accompanied by his second wife had commenced his own expedition whilst Speke was still active in the area. They met, and Speke gave Baker a rough map designed from reports by natives showing a possible large lake to the east. Baker explored in that direction and after finding and naming the magnificent Murchison Falls came across the western bank of a new massive lake which he named Lake Albert. He discovered that Lake Victoria emptied into Lake Albert before progressing north as the White Nile. Consequently, other inflows into Lake Albert were in themselves “sources” of the Nile. After a long period in the interior Baxter made his way north and eventually reached Khartoum in May 1865. On return to England this book was published in a two volume form with extra map etc. His writing style is well regarded as being very readable and his adventures reflect quite extraordinary circumstances and a quite extraordinary individual.

    Baker’s earlier years are worth understanding. He was brought up in a relatively wealthy family, including private tuition and finishing in Germany. His first job was a civil engineer in Eastern Europe working on rail and bridges. He married young and his bride went to the Seychelles to manage the family plantation. After a couple of years, they went to Ceylon and started what was to be a successful mountain retreat. His wife had seven children and died at 32 from typhoid. By this time Baker had become a renowned hunter and already published books on the subject. On return to the England he organised a hunt in eastern Europe for the Maharajah Duleep Singh. Out of interest he took the Maharajah to the Vidin slave market. There, he fell in love with a girl destined for the harem and bought here freedom. They were to marry (but much later on return form Africa) and she went by the name Florence Baker. She accompanied Baker everywhere and she features throughout these volumes on the source of the Nile. Baker was given the Gold Medal of the RGS for his achievements and similar honours overseas. He was knighted, although Victoria refused to meet him due to the circumstances of his marriage and possibly because of an age discrepancy as Florence may have been rather young when they got together. Baker went on to big things politically becoming the first Englishman to sit in high office in Egypt.

    The single volume edition of an important African journey.

    $120.00

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  • The First Crossing of Spitsbergen – Martin Conway – First Edition 1897

    And a rather exhausting full title …The First Crossing of Spitsbergen Being an account of an Inland Journey of Exploration and Survey, with Descriptions of Several Mountain Ascents, of Boat Expeditions in Ice Fjord, of a Voyage to North-East-Land, the Seven Islands, Down Hinloopen Strait, Nearly to Wiched Land, and Into most of the Fjords of Spitsbergen, and an almost Complete Circumnavigation of the Main Island.

    First edition published by Dent, London in 1897. Quarto, 372 pages, 8 coloured plates, 2 folding maps and 99 black and white illustrations. Original brown bevelled boards with tan spine, gilt lettering and decoration. Spine darkened somewhat as usual from sunlight. Occasional light spotting, plates and maps clean. A good to better copy.

    Martin Conway spent the summers of 1896 and 1897 exploring Spitsbergen. During the first year Conway led a party of five overland from Advent Bay to Bell Sound and on to Sassen Bay and Agardh Bay before returning. Altogether there were thirteen mountain ascents, such is the territory. During their endeavours they complied generous geologic and natural history collections.

    Sir Martin Conway (1856-1937) was a critic, politician, cartographer, mountaineer and more. He studied Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge. His first significant expedition was to Spitsbergen in 1896 (the subject of this book) and then an expedition to the Bolivian Andes. He was President of the Alpine Club 1902-04 and knighted for his cartographic work on the Karkoram region of the Himalaya. Later in life he was made First Baron Conway of Allington. Quiet a chap!

    Spitsbergen means “Pointed Mountains” from the Dutch. Now under the jurisdiction of Norway. The archipelago has been named Svalbard since 1925 with Spitsbergen reserved for the largest island, which is the 36th largest island in the World. Spitsbergen is the only island in the group with permanent habitation although even now there are barely 3,000 people.

    Conway across Spitsbergen – first time recorded

    $390.00

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  • Tarka the Otter – Henry Williamson – Early Tunnucliffe Illustrated Edition – 1936

    Tarka the Otter – Henry Williamson – Early Tunnucliffe Illustrated Edition – 1936

    The full title of the book is “Tarka the Otter: His Joyful Water-Life and Death in the Country of the Two Rivers”

    First published in 1927, early editions are very valuable. This is the third printing of the illustrated edition published 1936. Rarely found in its dust jacket. Includes revisions following the suggestions of Lawrence of Arabia.

    Published by Putnam’s London. Octavo, 279 pages, with some age to the jacket which is unusually complete. Very clean internally. Neat gift inscription on end paper. Introduction by Sir John Fortescue. A very good copy.

    Carries the illustrations from woodcuts by C.F. Tunnicliffe complete by the Taw and Torridge Rivers in 1932. Magnificent illustrations which have a special place in the history of book illustration.

    A highly influential novel and Williamson’s best known work. Won the Hawthornden Prize in 1928. Describes the life of ab otter who lived in the countryside around the River Taw and River Torridge in North Devon. Tarka means “Wandering Stream”. Putnam had sent a review copy to T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) who had responded with a typically thorough, no punches held, response. Putnam sent this on to Williamson who, despite the criticisms, established a friendship with Lawrence [see our copy of Threnos for T.E. Lawrence by Williamson]. Tarka is a really super book and is up there with the best of British novels that draw on the rural environment.

    Early Tunnicliffe illustrated Tarka..

    $80.00

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  • Byron of the Wager – Peter Shankland

    Byron of the Wager – Peter Shankland

    The detailed story of the loss of the Wager in the Strait of Magellan during Lord Anson’s circumnavigation of the 1740’s with a primary aim of sticking it up the Spanish fleet.

    Published by Coward, New York a first edition 1975. Octavo, 288 pages with illustrated endpapers, maps and illustrations. A little rubbing to jacket (now Brodart protected as all Voyager books), still a very good copy.

    Through the eyes of the Hon John Byron Lieutenant who wrote a primary account of the events, before during and after. Fourth Lord Byron was the famous poets Grandfather and went on to be respective Admiral of the fleet.

    One of the greatest wreck stories, part of a the monumental Anson voyage (despite its losses) and an individual who would go on to be a maritime legend.

    The wager better than any novel … tension, intrigue, excitement

    $35.00

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  • Log of the Centurion – The Anson Voyage – The Log of Saumarez – Edited Leo Heaps

    Log of the Centurion – The Anson Voyage – The Log of Saumarez – Edited Leo Heaps

    The great Anson circumnavigation of the mid-18th century to basically steal as much Spanish gold – as possible (successful in that regard). This book based on the papers of Captain Saumarez and an essential part of the incredible story that makes up this historic adventure.

    Based on the original papers of Captain Philip Saumarez on Board HMS Centurion, Lord Anson’s flagship during his circumnavigation 1740-44.

    The four Saumarez logs have not been previously published or referenced. They had been lost for year until found in the 1960’s in a cardboard box along with letter and other documents at the Saumerez manor in the Channel Islands.

    Published by Macmillan, New York a first edition 1974.Large octavo, 264 pages, world map end papers showing the track of the fleet, numerous illustrations from original works, some in colour. A slight ageing still a very good copy.

    While Great Britain was at war with Spain in 1740, Commodore George Anson led a Squadron of eight ships on a mission to harass the Spaniards on the west coast of South America and cut off their supplies of wealth from the Pacific.

    “Returning to England in 1744 by way of China and thus completing a circumnavigation, the voyage was notable for the capture of the gold laden Acapulco Galleon but also for the loss of all ships except Anson’s Centurion and horrific losses to disease with only 300 of the original 900 surviving.

    Anson’s voyage is remembered as a classic tale of endurance and leadership in the face of fearful disasters, but to Englishmen of 1744 it was the treasure of the galleon, triumphantly paraded through the streets of London, which restored national pride after an unsuccessful war against the Spaniards.”

    Saumerez another perspective on Anson

    $40.00

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  • Edward Wilson of the Antarctic  – Naturalist and Friend – George Seaver

    Edward Wilson of the Antarctic – Naturalist and Friend – George Seaver

    Published by John Murray, London in 1963. Soft cover issue. Excellent condition. Octavo, 228 pages. Illustrated and with maps.

    Edward Wilson (known as “Uncle Bill”) was one of the four men who reached the South Pole in January 1912 together with Captain Scott and later perished in their tent after failing to return to their base.

    This is a magnificent book; we rarely have paperback, but this one is such good condition we couldn’t resist. Folding map courtesy Apsley Cherry- Garrard and his “Worst Journey”

    Great book about a Great Man

    $20.00

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