SOLD - 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$ 0



Voyage dans les Mers de l'Inde - Guillaume Joseph Le Gentil de la Galaisière

1779 - Imprimerie Royale, Paris - First Edition
‘Two monumental volumes... crammed with details on astronomy, navigation, and natural history... His descriptions of life in Manila, Pondicherry, and Madagascar are invaluable’ (Dunmore).

‘In addition to the scientific details for which the voyage was undertaken, the first volume treats of the manners, customs, and religion or the people of the Malabar Coast and of the astronomy of the Brahmins. The second volume contains elaborate accounts of the Philippine Islands, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Bourbon and their inhabitants, including views and charts of the Philippines. Le Gentil gives details of the Islands, their climate, volcanoes, fertility, fruits, birds, animals, peoples, language, history, and description of Manila, the government, ecclesiastical and civil, commerce, &c.’ (Edwards).

A stunning set In contemporary bindings and illustrated with twenty seven folding copper engravings showing two world maps, maps charts and plans of Eastern and Western Philippines, Bay of Manila, Philippine Harbours, Manilla, Madagascar and it’s coastline, Isle de France (Mauritius), Isle de Bourbon (Réunion), Quartier S. Denis on Réunion, Eastern and Western Straits of Malacca, and Pondicherry. Together with engraved plates of animals and plant life, the ruins of Pondicherry, pagodas, Indian deities, and charts of comets and constellations.
 
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Price HK$ 55,000



Across East African Glaciers - Hans Meyer

1891 - George Philip & Son, London - First Edition in English
A superb example of the first edition, in the publisher’s original and first state illustrated cover highlighting the snow in white and additional colour to the tents and clearing, described by Neate as ‘a most handsome volume’. With mounted chromolithographed frontispiece, three folding colour maps, eight mounted photographic plates, and twelve photogravures

‘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. 
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Price HK$ 40,000



Turbott Wolfe - William Plomer

1925 - The Hogarth Press, London - First Edition
‘It is an inexplicable lapse on the part of literary scholars and critics, that Turbott Wolfe is not recognised as a pyrotechnic presence in the canon of renegade colonialist literature along with Conrad.’ – Nadine Gordimer.

Plomer’s work influenced generations of writers, and his lasting friendship with Ian Fleming, who whilst still at Eton , was so taken by the novel,that he wrote a fan letter to Plomer. Plomer encouraged Fleming’s writing, persuaded Jonathan Cape to publish
Casino Royale, and became Fleming’s literary editor.

‘Born in 1903, Plomer wrote his first novel (also his first book) with a charming dandysim suggesting both Forster and Firbank, but the theme is far from frivolous and states the South African colour problem as realistically as it has ever been treated since. There is even a mixed marriage. The English liberals, the old settlers, the church, the poor whites, the Afrikaner and the African are vivdly described and their passions spin the plot. “
Awoke a sleepy continent to rage.” – Cyril Connolly, The Modern Movement. 
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Price HK$ 1,100



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



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