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Rare description of Mozambique in the 19th-century, written by a former captain general of the colony

BOTELHO, Sebastião Xavier.
Memoria estatistica sobre os dominios Portuguezes na Africa oriental.
Lisbon, José Baptista Morando, 1835. 8vo. With six folding lithographic plates in the back, including maps of the Maputo, Inhambane, Quelimane and Mocambo bays, as well as a plan of its capital Maputo and a view of the residence of the Portuguese "capitão generales" (Captain-General) of Mozambique, a position which Botelho himself had held. Contemporary calf. [1], [1 blank], 400, [1], [1 blank], [1], [1 blank] pp.
€ 2,500
A rare 19th century work on Mozambique, which was a colony of the Portuguese empire at the time. Sebastião Xavier Botelho (1768-1840) was the "capitão general" of this colony from 1825-1829, or the commander-in-chief of the army. His work offers a rare geographical description of Mozambique. The author describes every region of the colony in detail, aided by the maps in the back of the book. He based the information in this work on his own experiences, but also made use of maps and documents he found in the colonial archives.
According to Innocencio, Botelho initially published the book for his friends, thus making it a scarce work. It was well received in Lisbon, however, and a second part followed in 1837. Critics abroad were less enthusiastic. Colonialism was not widely supported anymore, so a work like this was highly scrutinised. According to the anonymous reviewer of the Edinburgh Review, Botelho mostly succeeded in highlighting the mismanagement in the Portuguese colonies.
With a later paper ticket of a Porto-based bookseller mounted on the recto of the first free flyleaf. The spine shows some signs of wear, some scoring to the front board, a partially repaired tear in the gutter margin of the first lithographed map, slightly foxed throughout. Otherwise in very good condition. Memoria estatistica sobre os dominios Portuguezes na Africa oriental. Por Sebastião Xavier Batalho. In: the Edinburg Review, Vol. 64 (130), pp. 411-428, 1837; Innocencio 7, p. 224 & 461; Porbase 379226 (7 copies); Worldcat 831418831 (4 copies).
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Related Subjects:

Africa  >  East & Southern Africa
Cartography & exploration  >  Africa
Europe  >  Spain & Portugal