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    Description

    Archibald Dalzel. The History of Dahomy, an Inland Kingdom of Africa. Compiled from Authentic Memoirs; with an Introduction and Notes. London: T. Spilsbury and Son, 1793. First edition. Quarto (11.5 x 9 inches; 294 x 230 mm.). [xxxii], xxvi, [4], 230 pages. Six engraved inserted plates, each in two states separated by tissue guards; folding map; extra added portrait, dated 1799, inserted in front of map. Slightly later red straight-grain morocco; boards and spine tooled in gilt, including armorial cornerpieces; ten raised bands at spine, in pairs; gilt fillet decoration; gilt inside dentelles. All edges trimmed and gilt, previously marbled. Blue-green endpapers bordered in gilt; ribbon placeholder. Fairly mild shelf wear; wear to joints, corners and spine ends; corners somewhat bumped; some black spotting to boards. Minor surface wear to endpapers; two small spots of insect damage at lower corners and at hinge of front endpapers. Occasional scattered spotting to interior; some offsetting and toning near plates. Ribbon placeholder split with tasseled end tucked in; some offsetting where ribbon has laid. With bookbinder's ticket, two book labels and various pencil annotations to verso of free endpaper and first flyleaf. Very good. Title-page with decorative gilt rule border.

    More Information: Dalzel was a Scottish historian, slave trader, and governor of the Gold Coast, and was living in Africa when this volume was published. "His History was both a historical compilation and propaganda against abolition of the slave trade. He argued that the slave trade saved African victims from human sacrifice and slaughter. He also sought to exonerate Europeans from charges that they incited African wars to secure slaves, asserting that Africans had long engaged in wars among themselves. Although it is based on borrowed sources and is biased, the History remains important for its contents, pleasant style, and influence"--DNB.

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