LIVINGSTONE (DAVID) Autograph letter signed ("David Livingstone"), to his publisher John Murray ("My Dear Mr Murray"), discussing illustrations for his Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi, Newstead Abbey, 4 April 1865

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Lot 105
LIVINGSTONE (DAVID)
Autograph letter signed ("David Livingstone"), to his publisher John Murray ("My Dear Mr Murray"), discussing illustrations for his Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi, Newstead Abbey, 4 April 1865

Sold for £ 2,750 (US$ 3,665) inc. premium
Property of a descendant of Robert Cooke, David Livingstone's publisher
LIVINGSTONE (DAVID)
Autograph letter signed ("David Livingstone"), to his publisher John Murray ("My Dear Mr Murray"), discussing illustrations for his Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi ("...The Fall cut will do very well as it is – and any way of introducing the fish cage and Lady [Nyassa deleted] of the Lake or as Oswell puts it ʻjolly young water woman in a farthingale' will be right..."); and accepting Murray's advice as to toning down his criticism of Bishop Mackenzie's successor, Bishop Tozer ("...I think now that you are right... we shall let him sink as far as we are concerned. I shall have to speak about ʻbishop Mackenzies successor repudiating (that was the word he used) ʻthe acts of his predecessor' & sending the children adrift but as gently as possible – I heard from Prof Sedgwick's tone that the great ones at Cambridge are very ill pleased with him..."), 3 pages plus postscript, minor thrips-damage to the outer margin of second leaf, not affecting text, but otherwise in good condition, 8vo, Newstead Abbey, 4 April 1865

Footnotes

  • ʻTHE FALL CUT WILL DO VERY WELL AS IT IS' – Livingstone on the spectacular woodcut view (ʻBird's-Eye View of the Great Cataracts of the Zambezi (called Mosioatunya, or Victoria Falls) and of the Zigzag Chasm below the Falls through which the River Escapes') that forms the book's fold-out frontispiece. On 1 April Livingstone had written to Murray asking if the engraver could make a small alteration to the woodcut, something which our letter shows was not possible.

    Cotton Oswell, to whom Livingstone refers in this and the next two letters, was a well-to-do game hunter who had not only financed Livingstone but accompanied him on his first great crossing of the Kalahari to Lake Ngami in 1849, and again on his journey to the Zambesi in 1851. Livingstone described him ʻas one who had had more hairbreadth escapes than any man living' (Thomas Seccombe, DNB), and credited him with ʻthe initial conception of introducing European colonization and commerce to central Africa as an antidote to the slave trade' (Norman Etherington, ODNB).
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