In Darkest Africa by Henry M. Stanley, Two Volume Set, 1890

Stanley, Henry M. In Darkest Africa. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1890. First Trade Edition. Two-volume set in original publisher’s boards. Three folding maps. Housed in matching archival slipcase.

This first trade edition of Henry M. Stanley’s In Darkest Africa is also known as The Quest, Rescue, and Retreat of Emin. The green cloth boards featuring the African continent and Stanley’s gilt embossed signature are original to the publisher. The book also contains the original three folding maps in the back. In Darkest Africa was published in 1890 by Charles Scribner’s Sons in New York. The two volumes are housed together in a custom made cloth slipcase inlaid with a portrait of Stanley. 

At a time when much of the African continent was largely unknown to the rest of the world, Henry M. Stanley took several expeditions into the area and published books on his findings. Born John Rowlands, the British explorer assumed the name Henry Stanley after leaving his hometown for a fresh start. Stanley led an interesting and fast-paced life working on merchant ships, serving in the American Civil War, and eventually becoming a journalist. His writing took him around the world following major battles and expeditions until he learned that the famous British explorer, Dr. Livingstone, was lost and in need of supplies. Stanley earned his own fame by rescuing Livingstone and writing his own novel of the experience. After setting eyes on the ill man, Stanley was supposed to have said, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” 

Henry Stanley continued exploring the African continent and writing about his journeys, but In Darkest Africa details his account of his final adventure. His goal was to rescue the governor of the equatorial province of Egypt named Mehmed Emin Pasha. The governor was cut off from supplies by the Mahdist Revolt in 1882. However, Stanley was able to reach the governor and document the geography of the region as well, finally clearing up remaining questions about the Nile River. Stanley’s riveting adventure novel was well-received and he eventually was warded the title, Sir Henry M. Stanley.


Overall very good condition. This first edition two-volume set was published in 1890 by Charles Scribner’s Sons and retains the original publisher’s green cloth boards as well as the original three folding maps. The boards have some overall wear and the pages are slightly toned, as expected with age. Otherwise, there is no notable damage. Both books are housed in a matching archival slipcase with an inlaid depiction of Stanley.

Dimensions: 9 ½” H x 6 ¾” W x 4” D

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