London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1856. First edition. Second issue (without suppressed appendix iv, as usual). Octavo (8 3/4 x 5 1/2 inches; 222 x 141 mm.). Original red-orange cloth decoratively stamped in blind on covers. Spine lettered in gilt. Rust-colored endpapers with advertisements on past-downs. Four color lithograph plates and two maps. Seven illustrations in the text. Collating xli, [i, blank], 648, 24 (ads). A near fine copy, partially uncut.
A seminal work of African exploration, recording Burton's first expedition into Somalia. His purpose was to explore the forbidden Moslem city of Harar (now Ethiopian) and to gather information about the headwaters of the Nile. He travelled in the same disguise that took him to Mecca (as an Arab merchant named Haji Mirza Abdullah). It was on this expedition that Burton was first joined by John Speke, who originally helped Burton in Somalia. But differences quickly arose between them, and over the years Speke became Burton's nemesis, taking credit for discovering the source of the Nile and deprecating Burton's work in every sphere.
Ibrahim-Hilmy I, 111. Penzer 60-65. Near Fine (Item #3580)