A famous feud between two great Victorian explorers is laid bare in a book that was meant to remain secret.
The National Library of Scotland has acquired what is thought to be one of only five copies still in existence of a family edition of the book, which gives details of the feud between John Hanning Speke and Sir Richard Burton.
In 1858, Speke discovered the source of the Nile — a claim Burton strongly challenged.
Speke wrote about this in 1864 in his book 'What Led to the Discovery of the Source of the Nile'. In it he originally referred to his feud with Burton, but was persuaded to leave this out of the final publication.
A special edition of 12 copies containing his thoughts on the dispute with Burton was printed, although only for distribution within Speke's family. It is one of these that has now been added to the National Library's collection.
Dr Graham Hogg, a Rare Books Curator at the Library, said this is thought to be the only copy held by any public institution and freely available for consultation by the public.
Read more in our Speke book media release.
6 September 2017