LIVINGSTONE (DAVID) Autograph letter signed ("David Livingstone"), to his publisher Robert Cooke, at John Murray's, written on his return from the Zambesi Expedition, Hamilton, 6 August 1864

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Lot 102
LIVINGSTONE (DAVID)
Autograph letter signed ("David Livingstone"), to his publisher Robert Cooke, at John Murray's, written on his return from the Zambesi Expedition, Hamilton, 6 August 1864

Sold for £ 1,250 (US$ 1,680) inc. premium
Property of a descendant of Robert Cooke, David Livingstone's publisher
LIVINGSTONE (DAVID)
Autograph letter signed ("David Livingstone"), to his publisher Robert Cooke, at John Murray's, written on his return from the Zambesi Expedition, outlining his requirements for somewhere to stay "for three probably four months" ("...one sitting room and three bedrooms and a servants room – We shall try to get a servant. My idea is to get a cottage near London but in the country say 2 hours by Railway – My daughter to keep it with one maid of all work whom she is trying to engage – to hire furniture for 3 or 4 months – I shall only have my second son & daughter with me: and dont wish to hire expensively – We would prefer a cottage to ourselves..."); mentioning that "Dr Meller late of our expedition" has a brother who is a house agent, and that he will be looking out for him; in a postscript, he asks Cooke to tell Murray that he has been invited by Lord Kinnaird and the Duke of Argyll but "shall make my visits every where as short as possible & soon be back", and asking for the life of Bishop Mackenzie, 4 pages, very light dust-staining but overall in good and attractive condition, 8vo, Hamilton, 6 August 1864

Footnotes

  • ʻA COTTAGE NEAR LONDON BUT IN THE COUNTRY' – Livingstone looks for a bolt-hole where he could write up his last expedition. He had returned from the Zambesi the month before to a considerably more muted reception than he had experienced in 1856; this letter being written on a visit to his much-neglected family in Scotland soon after. The Dr Meller referred to in our letter had served as naturalist and surgeon on the expedition (the damning letters Meller wrote home were sold in these rooms, 15 November 2017, lot 164 at £22,500 with premium). In the event Livingstone forswore his rustic idyll and opted instead for Lord Byron's old family seat, Newstead Abbey, where he was to spend some of the happiest days of his life (Tim Jeal, Livingstone, 1992, p.181).
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