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Henry M. Stanley Books
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List of Henry Morton Stanley Titles Available for Sale

All of the following Henry M. Stanley titles are first editions

Sir Henry Morton Stanley.Henry M. Stanley—Breaker of Rocks

Henry Stanley was only 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 28 years old when he was ordered to Africa to search for Dr. David Livingstone. In 1841 he was born as the first of four illegitimate children of Elizabeth Parry in Wales, and abandoned by his mother at a young age. After the death of his grandfather, he was placed in a workhouse where, after several years of torture, he struck back at his master. Believing that he had killed the master with a blow to the head, the youngster fled the stone walls and boarded a ship bound for the United States.

After a voyage with a ship captain as cruel as his former work master, the young vagrant jumped ship at New Orleans and began wandering the streets, seeking employment. He entered one shop and approached a gentle looking man who seemed to be the proprietor.

“Do you want a boy, Sir?” he asked.

The man he addressed was in fact not the shop proprietor but a wealthy, childless cotton broker named Henry Morton Stanley. The man replied, “As you are wholly unclaimed, without a parent or sponsor, I promise to take you for my son, and in future you are to bear my name.”

For two years, the young Stanley wandered with his “father” learning the cotton business. But, immediately upon outbreak of the Civil War, enlisted and was wounded and captured on only the second day of battle. He was shipped to a prisoner of war center but, after contracting dysentery, was released.

Within two years he had served as a news correspondent and eventually wound up as a reporter for the New York Herald. In 1868 Stanley was sent by his editor to cover the English invasion of Ethiopia. He was the first to report on Sir Robert Napier’s invasion of that country.

It is ironic that the man who was to become perhaps the greatest of African explorers had virtually spent no time in Africa prior to the commencement of his expedition. Further he had absolutely no previous experience as an explorer, and he was going into a country from which only three other Europeans (Burton, Speke and Grant) had ever emerged.

Against these handicaps was a man noted for remarkable strength of character, resolution, promptness of thought and an iron will. Difficulties did not deter him; disasters did not dismay him. With an extraordinary readiness of mind he consistently improvised means to draw himself out of difficulty.

It is no wonder that Stanley’s three most famous books—as well as several others—make extraordinary reading. He not only managed to find Dr. Livingstone, but to navigate the Lualaba River, realize that it did not become the Congo, and then to find the Congo River and navigate that river to its mouth, thereby completing the work that had been started by the Portuguese explorers hundreds of years before.

It is no surprise that one of Stanley’s biographers nicknamed him “Bula Matari” meaning breaker of rocks.

We are pleased to offer the following selection of books by Henry Stanley—as well as a few about him. Please note, these are one of a kind, please inquire regarding availability before ordering.


POSTAGE: US: $12.00 first book, $8.00 each subsequent book. Foreign $33.00 first book, $20.00 each subsequent book. Special postage noted for large format/heavy books. California residents add 9.75% sales tax. VISA/MASTERCARD/ AMERICAN EXPRESS accepted. On credit card orders include entire account number, daytime telephone, fax number, expiration date and note whether billing address differs from shipping address. U.S. FUNDS ONLY: No exceptions.

The following Henry M. Stanley titles are currently available for sale. If you need a title not listed please contact us as we maintain a very good “want” list.


HS1. Stanley, H. THE EXPLORATION DIARIES OF H. M. STANLEY, edited by R. Stanley and A Neame. 1961 London. 208 pp, ill. End paper maps. Discovery of the manuscripts, Stanley the explorer, his second Central Africa expedition, Zanzibar to Lake Victoria, to Lake Tanganyika and back to the Atlantic Ocean. Near fine in vg jacket. $70.00

HS2. Stanley, H. THROUGH THE DARK CONTINENT from the sources of the Nile, around the great lakes of Equatorial Africa, and down Livingstone’s river to the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, to discover the source of the Congo. Perhaps the most difficult to locate of Stanley’s three basic exploration books. 1878 New York 2 volumes: 522 & 566 pp. Hundreds of illustrations. Pull out folding maps in rear pockets. Near fine in elaborate gilt and pictorial cloth. Housed in a custom made open-ended slipcase. $850.00

a. another copy, 1899 London, two volumes in one with a special NEW preface written by Stanley expressly for this edition. A lovely production in one elaborately gilt, pictorial bound volume. All edges gilt. Remarkably near fine. $750.00

SOLD HS3. Stanley, H. THE CONGO AND THE FOUNDING OF THE FREE STATE 1885 New York Two volumes: 528 & 483 pp. Hundreds of illustrations. Pull out folding maps in rear pockets of both volumes. The complete, exciting story of Stanley’s Congo expeditions from beginning to end. Very good copy indeed in original highly gilt and pictorial cloth bindings. A consistently popular Stanley title. SOLD

HS4. THE AMERICAN TESTIMONIAL TO HENRY MORTON STANLEY. 1890 England. A small folio commemorating a dinner held in Stanley’s honor. Heavy board pages with ORIGINAL photographs tipped in: Stanley, Stairs, Pike, Nelson, Mounteney-Jephson and the Stanley shield and medallion along with menu and toast list. Full heavily tooled leather front and rear binding, new leather spine. $2,000.00

HS5. Stanley, H. IN DARKEST AFRICA 1890 New York Two volumes: 547 & 540 pages. Profuse illustrations. Large pull out folding maps in rear pockets both volumes. “The” classic work on Stanley’s explorations and the one in which he met “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” A complete set but only good condition in original elaborate gilt and pictorial cloth bindings. $325.00

SOLD HS6. Dorothy Stanley THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF HENRY MORTON STANLEY 1909 London Edition DE LUXE. ONLY 250 copies (this is copy #49). 551 pages. Profuse illustrations and 16 photogravures. Large foldout map. The book edited by Stanley’s wife. Great reading, This deluxe edition is much larger format than the standard “trade” edition, printed on special deckle edged paper. Original full leather binding, raised spine bands, gilt rules on bands, gilt oval on front cover, marbled end papers and top edges gilt. Rare. A very good copy indeed showing basically no wear to leather and only the slightest hint of fading to the spine. SOLD

HS7. Stanley, Henry SLAVERY AND THE SLAVE TRADE 1893 New York 86 pages, 2 pages publisher ads and 6 ill. Small format book. One of the true Stanley rarities. Obviously Stanley’s impressions of slavery. Very good copy in original printed boards. $600.00

HS8. A true piece of history: THE GOLD MEDAL AWARDED TO HENRY STANLEY BY THE FRENCH GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY. 2¾ inches in diameter. Sixteen ounces of gold. ONE OF A KIND ITEM. One of only three major awards received by Stanley, this for his 1874-1877 Congo crossing. Stanley is one of the few “Americans” to be honored by so many geographical societies. As a note: the English Royal Geographical Society medal is housed in a preeminent South African collection; and the box presented to him by King Leopold of Belgium resides in a private Belgian collection. Thus this is the last medal available for private purchase. Provenance: by descent from Stanley heirs through Sotheby’s 1970s auction. Thence by private purchase. Housed in a custom made, double sided frame which both protects this precious item and allows for viewing on both side. $22,500.00

HS9. Henry Stanley Original one page (short) handwritten letter to Lord Aberdare (the Aberdares mountains in Kenya were named after him) dated 6 May 1890 thanking him for the nice note and saying he hopes they can meet again after Lord Aberdate returns. $400.00

HS10. Henry Stanley Original two page letter (and with excellent content) June 23, 1894 to My Dear Hutton. Thanking him for his genuine kindness (a response to some article Hutton published about Stanley) saying “we are much better hearted when we get credit from an acrimonious fault finding public. The two pages are on a folded sheet and written on one side only, so it may be opened for framing. $2,000.00

HS11. Henry Stanley ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH OF STANLEY and party at Monterey California on March 19, 1891 when on a publicity tour (for his book). Image is 9½ inches by 7½ inches, immaculate, matted and beautifully framed. Size framed is almost 15 by 17 inches. This was a professional photo taken by Taber Photo, San Francisco California. A true piece of Stanley memorabilia and Californiana. $3,000.00

HS12. Henry Stanley CARTE DE VISITE (photographic calling card). Approximately 4 x 6 inches. Lovely head and upper chest photo of Stanley by Reutlinger with TWO signatures. Signed directly on front beneath image “Stanley” and with a clipped signature pasted on back “Henry M Stanley.” $500.00