[Bird, William Wilberforce]
State of the Cape of Good Hope in 1822.
Seller ID: 2375S
London: John Murray, 1823. First edition (pp. viii, 377). Octavo (23 cm) in full polished maroon calf, fine gilt titles and decoration, t.e.g., gilt decorated marbled endpapers; two folding maps. Lightly sun-faded at an edge. “The volume was written anonymously under the signature of ‘A Civil Servant of the Colony’, and it is claimed that it is 'a plain narrative of whatever may have attracted general attention', whilst the editor, Mr. H.T. Colebrook, states in his Preface, 'I have inserted brief notes at the foot of the page; and subjoin a few annotations on topics of interest, upon which I am desirous of delivering my own sentiments at greater length.’ The author, a public official, had opportunities of inspecting Government papers, estimates, and statistics, and with regard to these matters, the volume may be taken to accurately represent the position of the Cape colony at this period. Full particulars are given with reference to the system of Government, Courts of Law, and Burgher Senate, the 'enregisterment of slaves', together with notes upon agriculture, viticulture, whale-fishing, &c. &c. There is an interesting description of Cape Town, and 'of the manners, customs, and habits of its people'. the remarks are by no means uniformly complimentary to the Dutch inhabitants, and reflect in a curious light the somewhat primitive state of the majority of the population” (Mendelssohn). Near Fine in a splendid bespoke binding.
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