Travels in Nubia. Published by the Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa - John Lewis Burckhardt 1819 - John Murray, London - First Edition Illustrated with an engraved portrait and three maps, two of which are folding.

Edited from Burckhardt's journals by Lieutenant Colonel William Martin Leake (1777-1860); he also wrote the biographical memoir which is prefaces the ‘Travels’. John Lewis Burckhardt of Kirshgarten (1784-1817) was a pioneering Swiss explorer who is best remembered for his rediscovery of the ancient city of Petra in modern Jordan.

In 1809 Burckhardt was commissioned by the African Association and their president, Sir Joseph Banks, to discover the source of the River Niger. Posing as a Muslim convert and going by the name of Sheikh Ibrahim he spent two years exploring and studying Arabic and Islamic law in Aleppo, before travelling widely in Arabia and Egypt This volume, first published posthumously in 1819, contains Burckhardt's account of his two visits to Nubia (modern Upper Egypt and Sudan) in 1813 and 1814. Burckhardt was the first western scholar to explore the Sudanese Nile valley, and one of the first western explorers successfully to cross the Nubian Desert. In this valuable volume, he describes in fascinating detail the many ancient ruins along the Nile and the logistics and hardships of his desert crossing. [CUP]

On his return to Cairo, Burckhardt, unable to set off for the Niger, compiled his journals into books which he sent to London for publication. He died in 1817 of dysentery and is buried in a Muslim cemetery under the name of Ibrahim ibn Abdallah.

In an article on Burckhardt published in 1973, Professor William Adams wrote of his first journey to Dongola in the Sudan, ‘I doubt if any ethnographer in history ever returned from a five-week field trip into totally unfamiliar country with a more balanced and comprehensive account’. [DEI].
  Provenance: Millicent Sparrow (1798-1848), later wife of George Montagu, 6th Duke of Manchester, Viscount Mandeville. With her signature dated 1820 to the title page.

References: CUP. Devon and Exeter Institution. Weber, 106; Navari,
Greece and the Levant - Blackmer Collection, 238. Ibrahim-Hilmy, Literature of Egypt and the Soudan, I 105.

Quarto (binding size 28x22.7cm), pp. [8] xcii 543 [1] [2 (publisher’s adds dated 1819)] [2].
  In contemporary full tan calf, re-backed in matching calf, original spine restored, red morocco spine label lettered and ruled in gilt, boards with twin gilt filet borders, gilt decorated edges and inner borders, marbled endpapers, marbled block edges.   Condition: Very good, some foxing, toning and offsetting to frontispiece, title page, and maps, in very good re-backed binding, some wear to boards, spine dry and flaking, offsetting from silk bookmark.   Ref: 111877   Price: HK$ 9,000