George Thompson

Thompson's work was first published as a single volume in 1827 by Henry Colburn

The extremely rare first edition in one volume was followed by a 2-volume second edition, also published in 1827.

"The first edition was published in one volume 4to [nearly a foot tall] in the same year at £3. 13s. 6d" (Abbey 330). The first edition is illustrated with twenty aquatint plates, including one double-page view of Cape Town, a folding lithographic map and two lithographic plans. An Appendix, found at the end of the text, contains a meteorological diary, tables of population of the colonies among many other pieces of important information.

George Thompson arrived at the Cape Colony in 1818 and swiftly became a successful merchant. He traveled widely in south Africa in order to expand his business and in 1823 and 1824 he explored the North Eastern Cape. He travelled to the Orange River and onwards to the Kuruman. Thompson notes that his expeditions "enabled [him] to collect much statistical information."

Thomas Pringle was the editor of this work, his presence and contribution being compared to that of a ghost writer. He supplied many materials for the work, and his poem The Lion and the Camelopard is to the Appendix section Notices and Anecdotes of the African Lion.

The photos on this page are of the copy that is in my collection