- Text vols. sl. foxed throughout, the third vol. final few leaves sl. browned. Atlas vol. title-p. and list of contents sl. foxed and yellowed, title-p. also sl. waterstained in corners; spine restored and wr. partly duststained and sl. creased; 17 plates and the map w. oval blindst. author's name and title below image (mostly stamped on caption) and all plates as well as the map w. small libr. stamp of the Univ. of Michigan in lower outer corner. Otherwise plates trifle age-toned but very fine.
= The title page of the Atlas with stamp of the "Bibliotheque du Roi Palais Royal", indicating this copy presumably was handed over to king Louis Philippe by Douville in 1832 (and subsequently, when the veracity of his travels was strongly doubted, removed from the library). Gay 3071; Broc p.118f; Howgego II, D27: "(...) According to his narrative, Douville arrived at Benguela in December 1827, then followed the coast to Luanda (...) From Luanda he ascended the River Cuanza and crossed to Kassouga, on the frontier between Angola and Congo. By descending the Cuango (Kwango) he reached the Kasai and visited the region around Lac Leopold II. He then descended the Congo (Zaire) to the coast. Douville returned to France in 1831 and in the following year published his four-volume Voyage au Congo (...). The account was first received enthousiastically (...) and Douville was awarded the gold medal of the Société. However, the obvious exaggerations of some of his statements soon aroused suspicion. (...) Subsequent discoveries proved the truth of the accusations against him, meaning that the precise extent of his travels must remain conjectural. In fact it is probable that he never went beyond the coast, and it is generally agreed that much of his narrative was based on unpublished Portuguese documents (...)." SEE ILLUSTRATION PLATE LXXXI.
Idem. AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED "J.B. Douville" and addressed to "Monsier de la Menais", dated "Paris le 27. Sepbre 1831", pen and ink, 1 leaf, recto only.
- Sl. foxed.
= A letter addressed to La Menais, then editor of the journal l'Avenir. "J'ai le honneur de vous adresser l'aperçu d'un voyage que je viens de faire dans le centre de l'Afrique au sud de l'Equateur. Je vous prie d'en annoncer la prochaine publication." He finishes off his letter by politely mentioning the high esteem in which he has held La Menais since his college days at St.Malo where they first met.