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Catalogue 43 Exploration And Travel #9785/1

Latrobe (Rev. C.I.)


With Some Account of the Missionary Settlements of the United Brethren, near the Cape of Good Hope

Published: London, 1818

Stock Number: #9785/1

Price: R15,000


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vii + (i directions to binder) + 406 pages,4to (4to (275 x 220 mm) folding map as frontispiece with the author's outward and return journeys outlined in red and blue, 12 fine hand coloured aquatint plates drawn by R. Cocking from sketches by the author (10) and Mr Melville (2), and 4 uncoloured plates, half tan calf with red and green title labels and gilt decoration in panels on the spine, grey paper sides. The text is lightly foxed throughout but as usual the 12 aquatint plates which are on better quality paper are clean and bright, a good copy. First edition

Bradlow (Frank R.) in his Biographical and General Introduction, to the facsimile reprint edition published by C. Struik in 1969 comments about the plates, In view of the fact that all twelve of the coloured aquatint engravings, whether by Melville or Latrobe, would appear to have been redrawn by R. Cocking, it is of interest that the only merit Labrobe claims for the sketches is that they are 'scrupulously exact in outline'. This accuracy is almost certainly due to the fact that Latrobe used a portable camera obscura to capture the outlines. He twice refers to this camera obscura, once on page 73, when he relates how, when it was standing "in a position which showed the church and the grove, with people passing and repassing", the Genadendal Hottentots were "exceedingly amused and astonished"..... These twelve aquatints are in three tints, grey, black and brown, with hand water-colouring. They are extremely competent in composition, technique, and colouring, and in the writer's opinion, are superior to most illustrations in other contemporary books of South African travel.South Afrcia in Print comments about Latrobe that 'He has left an important volume of travels with illustrations second only to those of Burchell'. Colvin in his introduction to Mendelssohn's South African Bibliography describes the Journals as 'written with much sweet piety and simplicity of spirit" yet (he) shows shrewdness of observation and a fine common sense.Kennedy (R.F.) Africana Repository pages 94-95, Latrobe came to the Cape to visit the Moravian Missions at Genadendal and Groenkloof and to choose a site for a new mission in the Eastern districts. The new mission site chosen was Witte Rivier, a tributary of the Sundays River; the mission was established and named Enon