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The Guiana Travels of Robert Schomburgk 1835-1844, Volume 1: Explorations on Behalf of the Royal Geographical Society, 1835-1839

Biography / Memoir

Series: The Guiana Travels of Robert Schomburgk: 1835-1844 Volume: 1

Edited By: Peter Riviere and Robert Schomburgk

406 pages, B/w illus

Hakluyt Society

Hardback | Jun 2006 | #162998 | ISBN: 0904180867
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £55.00 $67/€62 approx

About this book

This is the first of a pair of volumes publishing the unedited full reports of Schomburgk's travels in Guiana between 1835 and 1844, previously available only in greatly abridged and heavily edited versions. Robert Schomburgk left his native Germany for North America in 1828, aged twenty-four. A year later he was in the Caribbean, where, after various business failures, he devoted himself to the investigation of natural history, especially botany. Although he had no previous contact with the Royal Geographical Society in London, the work he submitted to it was of such a quality that he was able to persuade the Society to sponsor explorations in the north-east of South America, an area for which no accurate maps and little reliable information existed. From Schomburgk's arrival in British Guiana in 1835 up to 1839, he explored much of the interior of the colony and completed the arduous overland journey to the Orinoco to connect his survey with that of Alexander von Humboldt. During these expeditions he witnessed maltreatment of Amerindians at the hand of Brazilians, and having ascertained that the boundary between Brazil and British Guiana was undefined he proposed it should be fixed so that those within the British colony would be protected from further harassment. The British Government decided to go ahead with this exercise, and Schomburgk was appointed boundary commissioner with the task of surveying the boundaries of the colony. He did this between 1841 and 1843, returning to London in 1844 to be rewarded with a knighthood for his services.


Preface; Introduction; The first expedition into the interior: 1835-1836; The expeditions up the rivers Corentyne and Berbice: 1836-1837; The journeys to the sources of the Essequibo and to Esmeralda on the Orinoco: 1837-1839; Index.

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Peter Riviere is Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford, UK.

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