Out of Africa - Isak Dinesen

1938 - Random House, New York - First American Edition
I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills….

A stunning copy of what Truman Capote called ‘one of the most beautiful books of the 20th century’.

Karen Blixen’s poignant account of her life on a coffee plantation in Kenya, and the basis for the memorable film, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.
 
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Price HK$ 8,000



In the Land of Misfortune - Lady Florence Dixie

1882 - Richard Bentley and Son, London - First Edition
Illustrated with sixteen plates engraved from sketches by Major Fraser and Captain C. F. C. Beresford.

Born Lady Florence Douglas, sister to the 9th Marquess of Queensbury who endorsed the eponymous rules of boxing, Lady Dixie (1855-1905) packed in a varied career. In this book she recounts her adventures in Africa as the first official woman war correspondent, covering the aftermath of the Anglo-Zulu War and the First Boer War for the
Morning Post.

Prior to this she travelled to Patagonia and corrected Charles Darwin's contention in his Journal of Researches that the Tuco-tuco was nocturnal after observing it active during the daytime. Back in Britain she was a keen proponent of women's suffrage and women's association football, her crusades became increasingly bizarre with age (including a campaign for total parity of dress for men and women), so that
The Times in its obituary rather sadly concluding that Lady Florence Dixie would be best remembered as a ‘somewhat peculiar woman’. 
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Price HK$ 2,800



I Married Adventure - Osa Johnson

1940 - J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia - First Edition
‘”We're going round the world, Osa!” – Heady stuff for a dainty little Kansas girl, who had married at sixteen a handsome film photographer just back from the exotic South Seas. Osa Johnson would have been quite happy to keep home and settle down – she had never been further than thirty miles from the house she was born – but Martin Johnson and their whirlwind romance so bowled her over that all she could answer was “Well -– all right, dear”.'  – Jane Robinson, Wayward Women.

A lovely copy in the fantastic Zebra print boards, and in a rare dust jacket. The classic real life travel exploits of husband and wife adventurers Martin and Osa Johnson, this is a lively memoir relaying their journeys from Borneo, to Kenya and the Congo.

A best seller when it first appeared in 1940, its wonderful observations of nature and heart-stopping narrative are accompanied by scores of striking photographs of the Johnsons’ exotic destinations, all housed in fantastic zebra print covers.
 
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Price HK$ 2,800



Across East African Glaciers. An Account of the First Ascent of Kilimanjaro - Hans Meyer

1891 - George Philip & Son, London - First Edition in English
‘Hans Meyer was a geologist and experienced climber who made four trips to the Kilimanjaro region in 1887-1889 culminating in his successful ascent – the first undisputed summit of Kibo, 19,340 feet, the highest of the mountain's three peaks – in 1889. In an earlier attempt, Meyer and his companion Oscar Baumann had the misfortune to arrive in the midst of an Arab revolt against German traders on the East African coast. They were captured and held hostage until a substantial ransom was paid. Meyer's ultimate success has been attributed to his recognition that the greatest obstacle to achieving the summit was the lack of food in the upper regions. He brought a sizeable and well organized party and established several camps on the mountain, allowing him to make multiple attempts at the summit without descending to the base. His lively and highly readable account of the expedition is arguably the most important work on African mountaineering.’ - Walkabout Books.

A superb and rare first edition, in the publisher’s original illustrated covers, described by Neate as ‘a most handsome volume’. With mounted chromolithographed frontispiece, three folding colour maps, eight mounted photographic plates, and twelve photogravures
 
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Price HK$ 65,000



Social and Diplomatic Memories 1884-1893 - Sir James Rennell Rodd G.C.B.

1922 - Edward Arnold & Co., London - Second Impression
The autobiography of 1st Bron Rennell (1858-1941), British diplomat, poet (Oscar Wilde assisted in publishing Rodd’s first book of poems), politician, and scholar of ancient Greece and Rome.

Covering the early years from his childhood, the ‘Balliol set’, and young Bohemian adulthood, to his first posting in Berlin from 1884 to 1888, where he became an intimate friend of the Empress Frederick, and recounts his memories of Bismark and other major figures during that tumultuous time, after this he moves on to Greece, Italy, France, and finally Zanzibar and East Africa at the end of the 19th century.

Finely bound and with a four page hand-written letter from his wife to an ‘unknown friend’, composed at the British Legation, Athens in February 1928.
 
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Price HK$ 2,000



Through the Dark Continent - or - The Sources of the Nile Around the Great lakes of Equatorial Africa and Down the Livingstone River to the Atlantic Ocean - Sir Henry Morton Stanley

1878 - Sampson Low, London - First Edition
A superb set in particularly bright and sharp pictorial boards, somewhat scarce in this condition. Illustrated throughout, with 150 full-page and in-text wood engravings. Two large folding maps in pockets at rear of each volume Eastern Half of Equatorial Africa and Western Half of Equatorial Africa; together with folding maps of Stanley and Livingstone falls, double page map of Lakuga Creek, and five full page maps, all highlighted in colour.

‘In August 1874, Stanley left London for Zanzibar. There he engaged over 300 porters, who were each to carry 60 pounds of goods, arms, and supplies, making it the largest African expedition ever seen.... ‘
 
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Price HK$ 10,000



The Autobiography of Sir Henry Morton Stanley - Sir Henry Morton Stanley, Dorothy Stanley [Editor]

1909 - Sampson Low, London - First Edition
‘Invaluable; Stanley wrote the first nine chapters before his death, and Lady Stanley drew the remainder from her husband's journals, letters, and notebooks’. - Encyclopedia of World Biography.

Were I suddenly to be called away, how little, after all, the world would know of me! My African life has been fairly described, but only as it affected those whom I served, or those who might be concerned. The inner existence, the me, what does anybody know of?


Well, an ability for self publicity and dramatization, complete disregard for his fellow man, legendary traveller and explorer, impoverished childhood, soldier in the American Civil War...... and that is just the start.

Illustrated with 16 photogravures, two facsimile letters, and a coloured folding map showing Stanley’s three African expeditions
 
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Price HK$ 2,800