Thursday, 18 March 2010

Mungo Park Part I

I imagine that readers of this blog have asked themselves if this bozo knows about anything other than old Canadian paperbacks. The answer, of course, is no. But I do have other interests in the world of books and here is one of them.

Mungo Park's Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa was published in 1799 and is one of the very few books from that time still in print. Very popular in the nineteenth century it was published in many English editions as well as German, French, Swedish and Dutch. As such it has a rich bibliographic history in contrast to the Canadian paperbacks seen in this blog.

This post will highlight an early twentieth century edition published by London's Adam and Charles Black in 1903. This copy has a Christmas gift note which dates it as a likely first printing. There are eight illustrations by John Williamson.

By this time Travels was a very popular school/society gift. Here is the notice on another copy of the book. The gift note date is 1914 but the title page still has 1903. There is one bibliographic difference between the two copies - the first has "A and C Black" at the bottom of the spine, the second has "Black". The first copy also has a period bookmark.

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