Narrative of a Five Year's Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. Captain John Gabriel Stedman.

Narrative of a Five Year's Expedition Against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam.

London: J, Johnson, 1806. 2 vols. 4to, xviii, 423, (4, index and plate list); iv, 419 ( 6, index and plate list) pp, with 40 hand-coloured plates in both vol I and vol II as called for plus hand-coloured title page to vol I and coloured vignette to both volumes. 16 of the plates and the two title page vignettes are by Blake. Contemporary diamond calf with gilt rules and decoration, including to spine, with general light wear, the front cover of vol I rehinged; internally good, some offsetting and spotting to reverse of a few plates, occasional mild foxing to margins, but generally a good clean copy. Second edition, revised and enlarged, very scarce colored. Stedman's account of the slave rebellion in Dutch Guiana, 1772-1777, with 40 hand-colored plates, 16 by William Blake. A best-seller in its day and translated many times, Stedman's narrative was an important resource for the abolitionist movement across Europe, even though Stedman himself was not straightforwardly anti-slavery. Stedman based the text on personal diaries he kept on his travels (now held by the University of Minnesota), albeit with his numerous accounts of sexual liaisons with free and enslaved women reduced and romaticised. Essick writes that "Stedman's narrative of the brutalities of slavery very probably influenced Blake's own anti-slavery position"; Blake's graphic illustrations of abused slaves, infused with human dignity, undoubtedly influenced the reading public and advanced the abolitionist's cause. Essick, William Blake's Commercial Book Illustrations, XXXIII. Bentley, Blake Books, 499. Item #108730

Price: $19,500.00

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