AUTHOR’S ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT FOR THE PUBLISHED BOOK ‘MADAGASCAR AND THE MALAGASY’.
Manuscript account written in the Author’s clear and neat hand with 25 pen and ink sketches of topographical views, indigenous tribes, maps and charts and a total of approximately Octavo, 300 pp, initially numbered pp. 1-228, followed by contents leaves and a separately paginated ‘Diary of our trip to Bourbon’, interleaved with blanks, additionally 7 pages of notes on Madagascar, 6 pages of botanical notes and 16 pages of a description of the revolution in Madagascar, original gilt-titled album label for Oliver dated 1862 pasted on initial blank leaf, original green pebbled cloth, morocco backed case.
This manuscript on Madagascar was published as Oliver’s anonymous book’Madagascar and the Malagasy’ , and the second edition was published in his book ‘On and Off Duty, Leaves from an Officer’s Note-book’, 1881.
Samuel Pasfield Oliver (1838-1907), geographer and antiquary, received a commission in the Royal Artillery in 1859 and then went out to China and Japan. In 1861 he was transferred to Mauritius, and went thence to Madagascar where he spent some months exploring, witnessing the King’s coronation. An autograph letter signed from Major General M.C. Johnstone, under whom Oliver served on the mission, welcoming Oliver to the expedition is tipped in at the front of the volume. Oliver made a second brief visit to the island in June 1863 following the King’s ‘assassination’.
Provenance: Royal Geographical Society with cancelled stamps.