A Dr. Livingstone Association Copy, I presume?: The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone (1878)
A Dr. Livingstone Association Copy, I presume?: The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone (1878)
A Dr. Livingstone Association Copy, I presume?: The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone (1878)
A Dr. Livingstone Association Copy, I presume?: The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone (1878)
A Dr. Livingstone Association Copy, I presume?: The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone (1878)
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, A Dr. Livingstone Association Copy, I presume?: The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone (1878)
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, A Dr. Livingstone Association Copy, I presume?: The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone (1878)
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, A Dr. Livingstone Association Copy, I presume?: The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone (1878)
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, A Dr. Livingstone Association Copy, I presume?: The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone (1878)

A Dr. Livingstone Association Copy, I presume?: The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone (1878)

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The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone, The Great Missionary Traveller. London: Adam & Co. 1878.

(30 x 23 cm) viii, 632 pp. Publisher’s original full calf binding with illustrated vignettes. 20 plates and an engraved title page. Bookplate of George Andrew Hobson. Hinges weakening on exterior, interior firm. Foxing throughout consistent with age.


Dr. David Livingstone was obsessed with discovering the source of the Nile for himself and to end slavery. And indeed, his explorations in Africa propelled him from his humble beginnings in a tenement house in Scotland to international fame (“Dr Livingstone, I presume?”). His first voyage to Africa was in 1840, as a missionary to the Cape of Good Hope. After a lion attack on this mission, he met Mary Moffat, whom he married in 1845. In 1854, he became the first European to see what he named Victoria Falls, along side which now is a statue commemorating him. He went on for another 20 something years, exploring central Africa. His whole life’s adventure thus is laid out in this 1878 monument to his life’s achievements.


George Andrew Hobson (1854-1917) , former owner of this biography of the explorer of the Victoria Falls, would become the engineer responsible for Hobson steel flooring… and the design of the Victoria Falls Bridge, constructed between 1904 and 1905.


The question remains: which came first— the bridge or the book? The Life and Exploration of Dr Livingstone was published in 1878, 26 years before Hobson’s design of the Victoria Falls bridge, literally building on Livingstone’s legacy. Did Hobson read this book as a youth and set his goals, or did he acquire it as a souvenir of his own achievement?