Africa in photogravure

Sir Alfred Edward Pease (1857-1939), Travel and Sport in Africa (London: Arthur L. Humphreys, 1902). Rare Books Off-Site Storage DT12 .P35 1902q

Princeton owns a beautiful three-volume set of Pease’s illustrated journals titled Travel and Adventure in Africa, with his personal photographs along with some by the French photographer Emile Frechon (1848-1921), the English aristocrat Sir Edmund Giles Loder, 2nd Baronet (1849-1920), and the environmentalist Edward North Buxton (1840-1924). Arthur Humphreys arranged to have several dozen printed in photogravure, providing a spectacular record of Somaliland in particular, along with other African locations. The group shown above is only a small selection. Surprisingly few document of killing of animals and focus instead on the people he and his wife met along the way.

“Pease was adventurous,” wrote his editor Peter Hathaway Capstick. “Between 1891 and 1912, he visited Asia Minor, Algeria, Tunisia and the Sahara, Somaliland, Abyssinia, Kenya, and Uganda, hunting wherever he could. He was Resident Magistrate of the Transvaal in Komatipoort, next to present-day Mozambique, from 1903 to 1905, and he worked in the Allied Remount service from 1914 to 1918. A keen explorer and hunter, Sir Alfred also sketched. He went on to write thirteen books embracing subjects as varied as wildlife, a dictionary on the North Riding dialect, and oases in Algeria!”—Editor’s note, The Book of the Lion (1911).

Pease’s epigram on the title page comes from the Latin:

Pone me pigris ubi nulla campis
Arbor a stiva recreatur aura,
Quod latus mundi nebulae, malusque
Jupiter urget.
Pone, sub curru minium propinqui
Solis in terra dominibus negata;
Dulce rideutem. Lalagen amabo,
Dulce loquentem.

Place me where never summer breeze
Unbinds the glebe, or warms the trees;
Whereever lowering clouds appear,
And angry Jove deforms th’ inclement year.
Place me beneath the burning ray,
Where rolls the rapid car of day;
Love and the nymph shall charm my toils,
The nymph who sweetly speaks, and
sweetly smiles.