Lot 216: Africa.- Burton (Sir Richard Francis) The Nile Basin, 1st ed., lacking maps, mod. half morocco, 1864.
November 16, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Africa.- Burton (Sir Richard Francis) The Nile Basin, first edition, half-title, lacking the 3 maps (as often) and 4pp. publishers' catalogue at end, lightly browned, modern half blue morocco, spine ruled in gilt, light staining to fore-edge, [Penzer p.74], 8vo, 1864. ⁂ Burton and John Hanning Speke had gone in search of the source of the Nile in 1856-59, but Burton became ill and so only Speke had ventured as far as Lake Victoria which he claimed to be the source (later proved to be correct). Burton disputed this and the two men fell out. Speke was then selected by the Royal Geographical Society to mount a further expedition in 1860-63, his account of which was published in 1863 (see lot 289). Burton then issued this work, the second part of which reprints a scathing review by James M'Queen on Speke's book and his claim. Burton and Speke were due to debate the question at the RGS in September 1864 but Speke died in a shooting accident the day before the planned debate.