The Discovery of the Source of the Nile

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From: Peter Harrington. London, United Kingdom. Octavo x mm. Contemporary straight-grain blue morocco, rebacked and relined some time in the early 20th century, smooth spine decoratively gilt in compartments, two-line gilt border enclosing decorative blind frame to sides, floral cornerpieces in blind, marbled edges and endpapers. Ticket of Charles Lauriat, Boston bookseller and noted survivor of the sinking of Lusitania, to the front free endpaper.

Extremities a little rubbed, front inner hinge cracked between frontispiece and title page.

A very good copy, internally clean and fresh, in an attractive binding. Photogravure portrait frontispiece, one other similar portrait, 24 further plates and 46 illustrations to the text, mostly after Speke or Grant, and 2 maps, one full-page, the other folding. First edition.

Dispatched by Burton from Tabora to verify reports of a large body of water to the north of Lake Tanganyika, Speke discovered Victoria Nyanza on 3 August and immediately pronounced it to be the source of the Nile. Back in London the strained relationship between the two explorers was finally sundered by the acclaim greeting Speke's discovery, which Burton felt to be premature. In Speke returned to Africa to confirm his thesis, and in spite of complicated diplomacy involved in crossing the various kingdoms of the interior, eventually located "the point where the Nile issues from Lake Victoria - which he reached on 28 July and which he named Ripon Falls.

Unfortunately Speke's companion James Grant, suffering from an ulcerated leg, had returned northward, so the discovery was unverified; nor did the party follow the Nile stream closely as they travelled north to Bunyoro, allowing critics to question whether Speke's river really was the Nile. On his return to London Speke almost immediately came under fire, not least from Burton, who questioned whether he had found the same lake from the north as he had seen from the south.

The British Association arranged a public debate to be held in Bath on 16 September , but Speke was found dead the previous day, apparently killed in a hunting accident. The circumstances of his death, his dispute with Burton, and his somewhat slapdash record-keeping, have conspired to deny Speke the prominence of Stanley, Burton or Livingstone. But "the importance of Speke's discoveries can hardly be overestimated. In discovering the 'source reservoir' of the Nile he succeeded in solving the 'problem of all ages' He and Grant were the first Europeans to cross Equatorial Eastern Africa, and thereby gained for the world a knowledge of rather more than eight degrees of latitude, or about five hundred geographical miles, in a portion of Eastern Africa previously totally unknown" ibid.

Czech p. From: Buddenbrooks, Inc. Newburyport, MA, U. Second issuance printed in the year following the first, with the large folding map in first state and dated as for the first issuance of the book. Illustrated with numerous black and white plates, illustrations in the text, fine engraved portraits of Speke and Grant and the large folding map that was issued with the first printing of the book. A very fresh, clean and bright copy internally, the binding also in good order with no repairs or restoration done, hinges firm and strong, the binding still tight and sound.

Only light mellowing or age evidence. A pleasing copy of this increasingly difficult book to find in collectable condition. Speke had apparently, at the end of the Punjab campaign in , developed the idea to explore Central Africa with a view to collecting hitherto unknown species of fauna. At the same time the Bombay government was organizing an expedition to Somaliland under Lieutenant Richard Burton. Speke had originally planned to travel into Africa alone--a very unwise proposal--and James Outram, the political resident at Aden, at first forbid him.

Outram then suggested that Speke join Burton's expedition, which he did. However, his fellow geographers, including Burton, were skeptical of this claim. Under the sponsorship of Sir Roderick Murchison, President of the Royal Geographical Society, Speke went back to Africa and Lake Victoria Nyanza, and when he returned home he claimed that this time he had found conclusive evidence that the lake was indeed the source of the great river.

This work is his published account of that expedition. It details his day-by-day adventures in his search for the source of the Nile, including myriad accounts of travel experiences such as his enjoyment of courtly life in the native palace in Uganda, expeditions of big game hunting, and, of course, the momentous ascent to the juncture of the lake and the river. For discovering "conclusive proof" that the Nile issued from Lake Victoria Nyanza, he was awarded a gold medal from the Royal Geographical Society.

His claims, however, were still widely disputed. Speke and Burton planned a debate on the issue, but the day prior to the meeting Speke was killed in an untimely hunting accident.

The Dark Continent: Searching for the Source of the Nile River

His work remains a landmark in Africana literature and an enjoyable reading adventure. Published by Edinburgh Blackwood About this Item: Edinburgh Blackwood, The account of Speke's third and final expedition to Africa. This took place in with James Grant. Their purpose was to explore the Victoria Nyanza area and confirm Speke's view that the lake was the source of the White Nile.

On 25 September , their caravan left Zanzibar: a force of people, including armed men and porters bearing loads of beads, cloths, and brass wire intended as gifts for safe passage. On 28 July , Speke reached the point where the White Nile left Lake Victoria, naming it Ripon Falls and establishing in his mind the veracity of his claim that the river began there. At Karuma Falls, where the river makes a big turn west, native warfare forced him to cut across country. Ultimately, the expedition reached Gondokoro on 15 February , where Sir Samuel White Baker, coincidentally on his own self-funded mission up the Nile, was able to offer needed assistance.

But doubts of his claim remained, voiced particularly by Burton, primarily because Speke had not followed the Nile from Karuma Falls to Gondokoro. A debate with his former friend-turned-nemesis Burton was arranged for 16 September to settle the matter; however, on that morning word arrived that Speke had died in a gun accident. Some thought it was a suicide, for he was known as an accomplished sportsman and hunter.

Speke and Grant's successes are undisputed, however: they were the first Europeans to cross equatorial eastern Africa, and their explorations added more than miles to the known geography of the area. And today Lake Victoria and its feeder streams are considered the sources of the White Nile.

This took place in with his friend and fellow Indian army officer James Augustus Grant on an expedition organized by the Royal Geographic Society and supported by the British government. Their purpose was to explore the Victoria Nyanza area and confirm Speke's earlier view that the lake was the source of the White Nile. Spine refurbished, tips bumped, very faint marking to front board, contents fresh. A very good copy. Photogravure portrait frontispiece, one other similar portrait, 24 further engraved plates and 46 illustrations to the text, mostly after Speke or Grant, and 2 maps, one full-page, the other folding in an end-pocket.

Dispatched by Burton from Tabora to verify reports of a large body of water to the north of Lake Tanganyika, Speke made the discovery of Victoria Nyanza on 3 August and immediately pronounced it to be the source of the Nile. Once back in London the strained relationship between the two explorers was finally sundered by the acclaim greeting Speke's discovery.

In Speke returned to Africa to confirm his conclusions and eventually located "the point where the Nile issues from Lake Victoria which he named Ripon Falls. Unfortunately Speke's wounded companion James Grant had returned northward, so the discovery was unverified; nor did the party follow the Nile stream closely as they travelled north to Bunyoro, allowing critics to question whether Speke's river really was the Nile. On his return to London Speke's findings almost immediately came under fire, not least from Burton, who questioned whether he had found the same lake from the north as he had seen from the south.

In discovering the 'source reservoir' of the Nile he succeeded in solving the 'problem of all ages' He and Grant were the first Europeans to cross Equatorial Eastern Africa, and thereby gained for the world a knowledge of rather more than eight degrees of latitude, or about five hundred geographical miles, in a portion of Eastern Africa previously totally unknown" idem.

With the ownership signature "Loveridge" to the front free endpaper, possibly Arthur Loveridge , the British biologist and herpetologist who wrote extensively on the fauna of East Africa. With 26 engraved plates including the frontispiece; 2 maps with 1 being a large folding map in a pocket at the rear. A few tears along some of the folds of the folding map, frontis slightly foxed, stain in the margin of pp.

Ibrahim-Hilmy An account of Speke's third African journey undertaken in order to confirm his previous assertions about the source of the Nile which had caused a public conflict with Richard Burton Speke had accompanied Burton on two previous expeditions. Speke made this third journey, in company with Captain James Augustus Grant, to ascertain still further if the Victoria Nyanza were indeed the source of the Nile.

He met Sir Samuel Baker, to whom he gave valuable assistance, and who with his clue discovered the third lake, Albert Nyanz.

How feud wrecked the reputation of explorer who discovered Nile's source

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Continue shopping. United Kingdom. Search Within These Results:. Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile. Seller Image. Speke, John Hanning. Inverness, United Kingdom Seller Rating:. London, United Kingdom Seller Rating:. Journal of the discovery of the source of the Nile. Create a Want Tell us what you're looking for and once a match is found, we'll inform you by e-mail.

Create a Want BookSleuth Forgotten the title or the author of a book? Our BookSleuth is specially designed for you. In contrast, Jeal said, "Burton's racism is often forgotten … His attitude to Africans was deplorable. Speke, like every white traveller in Africa, wrote some unkind things too, but his real support for Africans has never fully come out before. Part of Speke's poor reputation is because his parents did not keep his letters. Also, it seems, historians never made use of the manuscript on which Speke based his book The Discovery of the Source of the Nile , despite its availability in Scotland's National Library.

Jeal found extensive passages that had been deleted by Speke or his publisher, John Blackwood. In one of them, Speke asked his readers to "be prepared to see and understand the negroes of Africa in their natural, primitive or naked state; a state in which our forefathers lived before the forced state of civilisation subverted it".

Blackwood insisted that praise for the "naked state" be deleted.

What Led to the Discovery of the Source of the Nile - World Digital Library

He was dismayed by her unsentimental honesty in telling him that her reason for being with him was so that she "might die in the favours of a rich man". He wrote of his parting gifts to her: "A black blanket as a sign of mourning that I never could win her heart… a packet of tobacco in proof of my forgiveness, though she had almost broken my heart; [but] I only hoped she might live a life of happiness with people of her own colour as she did not like me because she did not know my language to understand me. Speke's enemies, led by Burton, were preparing a savage attack on him at a debate in Bath.

But Speke died suddenly in Corsham, while climbing a wall holding a shotgun. It was clearly accidental, despite Burton's claim of suicide to avoid "exposure of his misstatements in regard to the Nile sources". While Burton was knighted, Speke was denied the honour. One was to acquire new geographical knowledge. Some of them were very eager to spread the Christian gospel. Others wanted to suppress the Arab slave trade, which was still thriving inside Africa. Others hoped to develop worthwhile commercial possibilities and create the colonies for the British Empire. In their conflicts with the Africans and sometimes with the Arabs, once again, the British were nearly always successful because of their technological superiority and the superiority of their military discipline.

Certainly, the British public of the later Victorian period was very enthusiastic about colonizing Africa. Before the s, at least, the British government, particularly when the Liberals were in power, was cautious about becoming too heavily committed to Africa. This was funded by the Royal Geographical Society, which was founded in Back in , a Scotsman called James Bruce had found the source of the Blue Nile, one of the major tributaries, in Ethiopia.

Hello reader! You could be getting much more from this article by watching its accompanying video lecture on The Great Courses Plus! He had a very difficult expedition and he found that the chiefs for whose land he passed along the way all demanded what was called hongo—gifts—from the explorer, to be allowed to go forward.

Gradually he was stripped of everything he possessed until he was a nearly naked wanderer in the African wilderness. He was able to stay alive partly because he had the knowledge to repair muskets. After Mungo Park, the orthodox view was that if you wanted to take an expedition into Africa, you had to take a lot of supplies with you, particularly gifts to distribute to chiefs. This was the expedition that discovered Lake Victoria, the massive internal lake from which, in fact, the Nile originates.

Richard Burton was probably the most intellectually adventurous man in Britain at the time.