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Author: C. Keller.
Photographers: A. Brauer and Dr. Völtzkow.
Additional Contributor: H. A. Nesbitt.
ISBN-10: 0-8371-1766-6 (0837117666)
ISBN-13: 978-0-8371-1766-9 (9780837117669)
Language: English
No. of Pages: xiv + 242
Dimensions: 163mm x 235mm x 23mm

Item Identification Code (UID#): 915
Shelving Location: General Works
Estimated Value: £16.00
Purchase Date: 23 September 2006
Purchased From: Log In to view this
Price Paid: Log In to view this

Madagascar, Mauritius

and the other East-African Islands

Negro Universities Press (1969). (First Published 1901)
Hardcover Book

A reprint of Professor Dr. C. Keller's famous work on Madagascar and the surrounding islands. It is based largely on the works of Grandidier.

Preface from pages v-vi

The task of describing the East-African Island-World must be regarded as a grateful one in itself, for everything unites in lending an exalted charm to the subject. In these islands Tropical Nature displays her magic in all its fulness, and their history is replete with remarkable incidents. If I were master of the power of expression of a Bernardin de St. Pierre, whose descriptions of the scenes of nature are unsurpassed, I would make the attempt to give an adequate picture of the mighty Tropical Nature – but I feel that I must confine myself to a pale and realistic sketch of that lovely island-world, and I thus stand in need of indulgence.

It is now twelve years since I visited the Seychelles, the Mascarenes and Mauritius, regions which had been till then but little visited. Events have since that time brought the East African Archipelago, especially Madagascar, into the foreground of European interest. As during my journey I had devoted myself almost exclusively to working out special questions of Natural Science, I have been under the necessity of discussing matters foreign to my pursuits.

Fortunately, earlier workers in the same field are not wanting. The Mascarenes, for example, have been described again and again. Alfred Grandidier, of Paris, has devoted his whole life to the exploration of the colossal island of Madagascar, and his magnificent work forms a rich mine of information.

I am personally greatly indebted to this eminent French geographer for having furnished me with effective recommendations to the French authorities in Madagascar and thus eminently facilitating my studies. I am also indebted to him for sending me his portrait, which is inserted in this volume in homage to the great services he has rendered to the investigation of Madagascar. While the manuscript was in the press, there appeared the valuable contributions by the German traveller Dr. Völtzkow on the hitherto imperfectly known islands of Juan de Nova and Aldabra.

It has been considered desirable that the islands lying in the west of the Indian Ocean towards Australia should also be incorporated in this work. I have not visited these islands, but we possess sufficient information about them from recent German, French, and English expeditions, and of this I have made use.

The illustrations are partly from photographs taken by myself. A number of the pictures of Madagascar, many of which have indeed been published in another form, were borrowed by me from the "Revue générale des Sciences", which not long ago published as a special number an excellent paper entitled "Ce qu'il faut connaître de Madagascar". The pictures of the Seychelles are new, and for them I am indebted to the great kindness of Dr. A. Brauer, who took very successful photographs on the spot and forwarded plates to me to make use of.

Other illustrations, admirably executed by Dr. Völtzkow, have also been turned to account.

C. Keller

Translator's Preface from page vi

There is no book in existence which presents so complete and trustworthy an account of Madagascar, the Mascarenes and the smaller islands of the Ocean to the East and South East of Africa as this work of Professor Keller To the scientific thoroughness and accuracy of the German professor he adds the vividness and realism due to personal travel and investigation. His theories of the ethnological history of Madagascar appear to me to be unanswerable, although they differ from those of most writers on the subject, and even in some respect from those of Grandidier, with whom, however, he is generally in accord.

The geologist, the botanist, the zoologist, the meteorologist, the ethnologist, and the historian will all find new and interesting matter in the book, treated in an eminently rational and scientific tone, and embellished with skilfully selected illustrations.

H. A. Nesbitt


  • Preface
  • Translator's Preface
  • Contents
  • List of Illustrations
  • Introduction
  • Chapter I. Situation and Extent of Madagascar
  • Chapter II. History of Discovery and Exploration
  • Chapter III. Surface and Geological Structure
  • Chapter IV. Climate
  • Chapter V. Flora and Fauna
  • Chapter VI. Population
  • Chapter VII. Politics and Religion
  • Chapter VIII. History of European Colonization
  • Chapter IX. Organization and Government of the French Colony of Madagascar
  • Chapter X. Produce
  • Chapter XI. Commerce and Modes of Communication
  • Chapter XII. Towns and Villages
  • Chapter XIII. Smaller Islands of the Type of Madagascar
  • Chapter XIV. The Mascarenes
  • Chapter XV. Réunion
  • Chapter XVI. Mauritius
  • Chapter XVII. Rodriguez
  • Chapter XVIII. The Seychelles
  • Chapter XIX. The Aldabra Isles
  • Chapter XX. Austral-African Islands
  • Chapter XXI. New Amsterdam and St. Paul
  • Chapter XXII. The Prince Edward Isles
  • Chapter XXIII. The Crozet Isles
  • Chapter XXIV. The Kerguelen Isles
  • Chapter XXV. Heard Island
  • Map of Madagascar
  • Principal Authorities Consulted
  • Index

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