London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, 1885. First edition. Hardcover. 8vo. 2 volumes. 528 pp.; 483 pp. Finely bound in recent green Morocco over green cloth bordered with twin gilt rules, spine in six compartments bordered by twin gilt rules, black leather labels with gilt lettering, recent marbled endpapers and pastedowns. Engraved frontispiece in volume 1 with 23 additional wood-engraved plates, numerous smaller illustrations, large folding color map in the rear pocket (with a few tears and a split along the fold), and three additional folding maps. Photogravure frontispiece with tissue guard in volume 2 with 18 additional wood-engraved plates (note that p. 163 is a full page illustration, not a plate, but is often counted as such; all plates called for are present), numerous smaller illustrations, and a large color folding map in the rear pocket (with a few tiny tears). A detailed account of Stanley's expedition on the Congo River from 1879 - 1884 and his work to establish the Congo Free State on behalf of King Leopold II of Belgium (there is much recent scholarship on Stanley's views and approach to his work versus those of Leopold; see Jeal, Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer for many new and interesting discoveries). An attractive set of this essential work in the history of Central Africa and the Congo Basin. Near Fine. Item #00008027
Bindings are Fine with a tiny bump to the top corner of the board on volume 1, interiors are Very Good with some mild age-toning and scattered tears, but the leaves and plates are generally very clean.