2 vols., facsimile ed., Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., 1968. Vol. I : Xviii + 509 pp., frontis + 9 other ills & maps (3 fldg.) + 15 woodcuts. Vol. II : Viii + 511 pp., frontis + 7 other ills + 14 wood engravings. Both volumes in red cloth with black title area to spines; gilt; gilt vignettes to lower corner of front covers. 22 x 14cm. Nr.FINE. First published in 1848, these books tell the story of an expedition to darkest Africa in 1841. At this period Africa was a mysterious and largely unknown continent and the British government, desirable for nobler ends than just the acquisition of wealth, sent a naval expedition to explore the great River Niger deep into the interior. As a lieutenant, one of the authors, Captain William Allen, had accompanied an earlier commercial expedition that had set out from Liverpool, but as a commercial speculation it was a failure. For this official expedition of 1841, Captain Trotter, Royal Navy, was placed in command of the WILBERFORCE and the authors describe the voyage south and the ports visited on their way down the West African coast. Important scientific research was undertaken during the hazardous journey up the Niger, and graphic descriptions are given of the peoples they encounted and the sights they saw – often the first by white men. They were struck by fevers and overcame tremendous obstacles. The final chapter considers the slave question which was an important topic at this period, and its suppression was one of the chief employments of the Royal Navy on the coast of Africa. The appendix includes vocabularies the expedition discovered together with their English equivalents. The men who sailed on such ventures into fever-ridden and unknown waters were a special breed and their achievements are all too often overlooked. EARLY VICTORIAN NAVAL EXPEDITION UP THE RIVER NIGER. TWO VOLUMES.