Lot 107

Africa - BRUCE (James). Travels in Nubia and Abyssinia, undertaken to discover the sources of the Nile, during the years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772 & 1773. Continued: ] Four trips to the Hottentots Country and the Cafrerie by Lieutenant Paterson. Paris, Hôtel de Thou, 1790-1792.
6 vol. in-4, including the atlas, in uniform half-brown calf binding, smooth spine decorated.
First edition of the French translation, by M. Castéra, of one of the best travel stories about Africa.
T. 1 : 620 pp., 1 map and 7 plates out of text. - T. 2 : 784 pp., 1 map (sources of the Nile). - T.3 : 858 pp., 2 maps and 2 plates out of text. - T. 4 : 752 pp., 3 plans of the battles of Serbraxos. - T. 5 : 328 pp., Four trips to the Land of the Hottentots and the Cafrerie. - T. 6: Atlas comprising 43 plates for Bruce's voyage, 19 double-page plates for Paterson's voyage and 2 folding maps. The plates have been washed and reassembled in the original binding. Top cover of volume I summarily restored, one corner of the atlas volume reinforced, some small rubbings and spine defects.
James Bruce (1730-1794), Scottish explorer and geographer, contributed greatly to the geographical knowledge of northern Africa. He also added much to the knowledge of the geography of Abyssinia, but he did not discover, as he believed during his exploration, the sources of the real Nile (or White Nile); he only traced it back to the source of the Nahr-el-Azrek (Blue Nile or Abyssinian Nile), one of the main tributaries of the river. After his six-year journey, at the end of which Bruce was declared missing, his family had divided up his possessions. Bruce's accounts of events are so extraordinary that they often sound like novels. The accuracy of many of the facts that were initially disputed have since been acknowledged. (Gay 44; Chadenat 1062; Brunet I, 1283.)
Very good copy, large margins.