First Edition of "...a most compendious collection..."Richard F. Burton. Wit and Wisdom From West Africa; a Book of Proverbial Philosophy, Idioms, Enigmas, and Laconisms. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1865.
First edition. Octavo. xxx, 455 pages. Three-quarter brown morocco over marbled boards, double gilt rules on covers, spines elaborately tooled and lettered in gilt in six compartments with five raised bands. Top edges gilt. Stamp-signed by Root & Son on the verso of the front free endpapers. Marbled endpapers. Repair to a three-inch tear to the half-title page. Moderate foxing. Very good.
In his preface, Burton writes: "It seems to me that the readiest, indeed the only, way of understanding the negro is to let him speak of himself in his own words, and that if ever a book aspires to the title 'L'African peint par lui-meme,' it must be the one that contains a most compendious collection of purely Hamitic proverbs and idioms."
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