New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1890. First American Edition. Hardcover. Includes approx. 44 full-page engravings (including frontispieces), approx 100 illustrations, and three color folded maps in pockets (two large, one small).
“Henry Morton Stanley was a Welsh-American journalist and explorer who had made his name after ‘finding’ Dr David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and explorer who the western world had lost contact with while on an expedition to discover the source of the Nile. After ‘finding’ Livingstone, Stanley continued to explore the African continent; between 1886 and 1890 he led the expedition for the relief of Emin Pasha. In Darkest Africa (1890) is his account as leader of the controversial Emin Pasha Relief Expedition. The mission was plagued by violence, disease, high casualties and scandals involving Europeans members of the expedition.” [British Library]
Conversational in style and richly illustrated, Stanley tells the tale of the unsuccessful quest to rescue Emin Pasha. He led 400 armed men through the Congo and Ituri rain forest. Despite his failure, the book was well received and he was widely celebrated (and ultimately Knighted). There was some backlash, eventually, as some in the press suggested that the entire expedition was a thinly veiled effort to create new slave routes and pillaging ivory and the like.
The library plate of the Dark Harbor Library (an affluent enclave on an island off the coast of Maine) indicates that the set was given to the library by “Mr. Player”. Preston Player was a noted collector of books, maps and prints, and he and his mother had a cottage in Dark Harbor (he also owned a small island about 3 miles to sea). Dark Harbor occupies about 1/4 of the island and is largely occupied by summer 'cottages', the rest of the island is occupied by largely year-around residents. The owners of the ’cottagers' created the Dark Harbor library, separate from the public library on the island and the cottage families (largely Boston brahmin) donated books to be shared amongst themselves (there was also, for a period, a fund raised among them for buying new material. Very Good. Light self/edge wear, small paper label near spine of both volumes, library book plate at front pastedown, "date loaned" label at rfep (blank), small Protect Association ticket at rfep, discrete notations at rear pastedown, else tight, bright, and unmarred; three folded maps in rear pockets show minor toning, very minor edge wear, a few small closed tears, else bright and clean. Green cloth bindings, gilt lettering and decorative elements, black ink decorative elements, brown endpages, pockets bound into both rear boards (containing maps). 8vo. xiv, [i], 547; xvi, 540pp. Illus. (b/w plates). Index. Appendix. Item #10657