Lot n° 34
4000 - 5000
DELEGORGUE (Adulphe). [Journey in Southern... - Lot 34 - Paris Enchères - Collin du Bocage
DELEGORGUE (Adulphe). [Journey in Southern Africa]. Autograph manuscript signed, dated Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) and other places, 1838-1844. In-folio, half ivory vellum, laces (Binding of the time).
2 ff. (memorandum and disclaimer entitled "Scripta manent"), (400) pp. with (27) pp. blank, and on verso, (15) pp.
Precious autograph working manuscript, prior to the edition of the Voyage dans l'Afrique australe (...) durant les années 1838 [à] 1844. Paris, A. René, 1847. 2 vols. in-8.
This manuscript differs largely from the printed version, its writing is technical and concise, and does not yet emphasize the picturesque details [the printed version is reputed to have been arranged by Léon Bertrand, the director of the Journal des chasseurs (see the letter of 1881 described in fine)].
The handwriting is legible, comparable to that of the autograph notebook "Voyage à la Guadeloupe", 1832 (cote 1J238), kept in the departmental archives of Guadeloupe.
It includes a few erasures and strikethroughs, the pages are neat thanks to a systematic margin, and a few sketches enliven the margins.
Adulphe Delegorgue was born in 1814 in Courcelles-lès-Lens (Pas de Calais); hired as a sailor, he sailed from the age of 16 to Africa and the West Indies. From 1837, he left for southern Africa as an explorer and naturalist, and his exploration intensified in the Natal hinterland in 1843 and 1844. He returned to France in November 1844, and after a new trip to West Africa in 1849, he stayed in Senegal and the Ivory Coast and died of fever off Petit Lahou on May 30, 1850 (Numa Broc, Dictionnaire illustré des explorateurs français du XXe s, Afrique; p. 108).
This handwritten diary essentially relates the years 1838 to 1842 in South Africa and more briefly the last two years of the trip: description of False Bay, visit of Table Mountain (p. 2), trip to Verlooren Valley then to Hantam, excursion to Karroo, observation of springboks (p. 12), return to Verlooren Valley on January 4, 1843, then to Cape Town on April 18, departure on May 5 for Port Natal where he arrived at the end of May (p. 17), description of the birds of the Cape (p. 18), description of the birds of the Cape (p. 19), and the first visit of the Cape (p. 20). 17), description of the birds of the region, contact with the local chiefs named Panda and Dingaan (p. 27), description of Pietermaritzburg where the author stayed in Nov. and Dec. 1839 (p. 50), a 6-week campaign with a commando in the Dingaan country in Jan-Feb 1840 (p. 53), hippopotamus hunting on the banks of the Touguela River in Sept. 1840 (p. 107), hunting in the Amazulu country and description of the wildlife in Oct-Nov 1841 (p. 153).Nov. 1841 (p. 153), excursion to Santa Lucia Bay in Dec. 1841 (p. 184), return to the camp of Oum-Schlopu in Jav. 1842, where he finds a caffre wounded by a buffalo, and looks after it (p. 193), departure for a new hunt in Dec. (p. 256)... The diary is then summarized for the years 1843 and 1844. He mentions a departure from Pietermaritzburg on April 22, 1843 and a return to Natal on April 25, 1844. This part ends with a list of 66 birds given to Florent Prévost of the Paris Natural History Museum on April 30, 1847 (pp. 267-268).
Following is a list of expenses incurred during the trip (pp. 271-281), notes on the hunts carried out between 1838 and 1842 (pp. 285-292), a list of natural history objects destined for different correspondents in 22 boxes (pp. 293-321): the naturalist Verraux, Ch. Perroud in Bordeaux and Delegorgue in Douai. This is followed by numerous descriptions of natural history, a large part of which is related to birds (pp. 337-427).
Head to tail, the volume contains a vocabulary of the Zulu language and various notes (lists of correspondents, thoughts written during the return trip in November 1844).
Attached are various handwritten documents:
3 letters from Delegorgue, including 2 autograph, draft, 1846-1848: on the condition of sailors, request for an allowance for a new expedition...
3 letters addressed to Delegorgue: hunting authorization granted by the Colonial Office
3 letters concerning his death, 1850: "died in atrocious sufferings caused by an inflammation of the pylorus", "his body was thrown into the sea".
Autogr. letter from the anthropologist Hamy, dated 1881, to Delegorgue's brother-in-law, asking for the communication of the traveler's papers because the printed version does not conform to the original text: "If I am well informed, indeed, it is the director of the Journal des chasseurs, Léon Bertrand, who would have written the two volumes of the voyage by arranging Delegorgue's notes in his own way".
Rules of the Geographical Society (1821).
Label of the paper maker Rolland Michel, Bordeaux.
Binding rubbed, small tears. Yellowed paper, foxing, qq ff. partly detached.
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