Carta della parte occidentale (e orientale) dell’Africa equatoriale e delle esplorazioni per terra e per acqua di Enrico M. Stanley.
Date: Milan,1880 about
Africa centrale, Kenia, Tanzania, Congo
Cod 3474
Subject: Africa centrale, Kenia, Tanzania, Congo
800,00 €
Coloured lithograph, mm 820x1340, editorially mounted on canvas in eight cuts. These are Stanley's two maps, in the rare Italian version, depicting the entire central section of the continent from the Atlantic to the Indian together. Well preserved. Stanley's (1841-1904) voyage of 1871-1872 in search of David Livingstone, then continued by his side along the northern part of Lake Tanganyika, deeply marked the journalist, who decided to devote the rest of his life to the exploration of Africa. Supported by fresh funding from the New York Herald, as well as the Daily Telegraph, in 1874 he set off on a three-year journey that saw him cross equatorial Africa from east to west and travel, first among Europeans, along the course of the Congo River to its mouth. Stanley recounted his journey in his book Through the Dark Continent (1878), which also included this map of the western part of Equatorial Africa, which for the first time charts the course of the Congo River with great accuracy, especially considering the author's not extensive cartographic training. There is a second map, of which this is the ideal continuation and which represents the eastern part of Equatorial Africa, the first explored by Stanley. Stanley's itineraries are plotted in red, as in Livingstone's map, whose style the map echoes in every respect: the publishers of the two maps were in fact business partners and Sampson Low of London, the publisher of this map, published material in the United Kingdom from Harper of New York, to whom we owe the first publication of Livingstone's. On the one hand, charters recounting journeys, on the other hand, mobile relationships between international publishers allowing styles as well as editions of charters to circulate from one end of the ocean to the other. The map also allows us to reflect on another form of mobility, which is typical of maps produced in cultural contexts of colonisation: that of the naming of places. Stanley, on the one hand, shows great attention to local toponymy, often even reporting the multiple names attributed by different tribes to the same places, while on the other, he does not shy away from the colonial practice of renaming: among the most striking examples to be found on the map, the Djoué River, tributary of the Congo, is reported as "Gordon Bennett River", in honour of the editor of the New York Herald who financed his travels; even more clamorous is the double name of the Congo itself, for which Stanley proposes the alternative "Livingstone River".



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