With Seventeen Hand-Colored Plates, After Drawings by the Author

    G. F. Lyon. A Narrative of Travels in Northern Africa. In the Years 1818, 19, and 20; Accompanied by Geographical Notices of Soudan and of the Course of the Niger. London: John Murray, 1821.

    First edition. Quarto. xii, 383 pages. Seventeen hand-colored lithographed plates, including frontispiece, after drawings by the author. Folding map. Index.

    Half bound in dark brown leather over marbled paper boards. Gilt-stamped black leather title label and gilt rules to flat spine. Wear to edges of boards; leather lightly rubbed. One corner bumped. Overopened at Preface, affecting title and dedication leaves, now separating from binding; rear hinge starting. Occasional spotting. Amateur tape repair to lengthy tear to page 181/182. Bookplate. Plates still colorful. In overall very good condition.

    George Francis Lyon (1795-1832) was a British navy captain, explorer, and artist who, in 1819, accompanied Joseph Ritchie on an expedition to find the course of the River Niger and to locate Timbuktu. Dressed in Muslim garb and able to speak Arabic, the team set off from Tripoli, but the journey was not quite six weeks old when Ritchie and Lyon were felled by dysentery. Ritchie died, and Lyon, though not fully recuperated, was forced to continue on, often in extreme temperatures exceeding 130 degrees. Lyon's poor health, exhausted supplies, and insufficient funding doomed the expedition to failure, and Lyon returned to London in 1820. From the Professor John Ralph Willis Collection of Rare Africana.

    Abbey Travel 304. Dictionary of National Biography. Gay 2780.

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