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    James Bruce. Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile. In the Years 1768[-1773]. In Five Volumes. Edinburgh: Printed by J. Ruthven for G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1790. First edition. Five volumes. Quarto (11.625 x 9.25 inches; 295 x 235 mm.). [10], lxxxiii, [1], 400, [8], 401-[536]; [2], viii, 718; [2], viii, 756, [1]; [2], viii, 138, [2], 139-166, [2], 167-198, [2], 199-695, [1]; [2], iv, [iii]-vi, ix-xiv, 230, [12] pages. Title-page vignette ornaments, fifty-eight inserted engravings (three of which are battle plans with explanatory leaves), three folding maps, and four leaves of unnumbered Amharic text. Recent half brown morocco over blue-gray paper; spine divided by five raised bands into six compartments, two of which have red leather spine labels ruled and lettered in gilt. All edges trimmed. Endpapers contemporary to binding. Mild shelf wear at extremities of binding, some corners pushed and bumped. Regular darkening and softening to edges of text block. Lacking half-titles. Varied amount of toning and foxing throughout text blocks, overall unobtrusive. Some slight offsetting opposite plates. Lower corner of Hyena plate in fifth volume torn away, image unaffected. A few archival repairs to versos of folding maps. About very good.

    Following his departure from his post as consul-general at Algiers, James Bruce of Kinnaird set out to Abyssinia, which he reached in 1770, to discover the source of the Blue Nile, being "only the second European to visit the isolated mountain kingdom... since the 1630's"--DNB. After reaching one of its tributaries in Gish, Bruce traced the Blue Nile to its confluence with the White Nile on his return journey in 1772. His account of his journey reached 3,000 pages and was "published... in five quarto volumes in 1790.... It was immensely successful, most of the original edition being sold to retail booksellers within thirty-two hours"--DNB.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2019
    6th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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