In the last post I featured a beautiful map that accompanied the book ‘In Darkest Africa’ by Henry Morton Stanley and I promised to feature the rest of the book, so here it is.

The cover is debossed and foil blocked on a handsome tan buckram with very Victorian hand lettering that brings to mind the ‘Boys Own’ adventure books that were always left neglected on library shelves in favour of more gaudy and richly printed books.

The inscription from 1928 proudly declares “His book” in the manner of past times, when books were possessions to be kept.

The portrait of Stanley has a flyleaf attached to prevent ink rub off on the frontispiece and whilst torn a little at the top it is in remarkable condition.

The book is full of lists and tables which are always of interest to the typographer and those designers who regularly format and present tabular information.

The type is set in a ‘Schoolbook’ style Clarendon, with very fine hairline strokes. I can’t identify the face exactly but it is very elegant with a flowing italic.

The engravings are particularly fine throughout and are by a number of engravers.

The detail and tonal sensitivity contained with such small lines never fails to amaze, and whilst not typographic, these type of image often appeal to many of us who can identify the patience, precision and practice required.

There are a number of illustrations in odd compositions like this ‘dogleg’ image of an elephant trap.

At the end of the book are a number of tributes to Stanley, including this one from the Kaiser himself!

The very last few pages all carry advertisements for his other books and the publisher has been allowed to get a little more adventurous with the type!