Our African Adventure.
London, Seeley Service & Co., no year (c.1954). 16 cm x 23 cm. Frontispiece, 255 pages. 40 photographic illustrations including frontispiece. Fold-out map of Kenya and Uganda within book’s interior. Hardcover [publisher’s original brown cloth] with gilt lettering on spine. With the beautifully illustrated endpapers and pastedowns. Excellent / Very good+ condition with only minor signs of external wear.
Includes, for example, the following: The Transkei / Gold, Diamonds and White Water/ Among the Turkana / The Domain of the Lion / From Treetops to Elephants / South to the Masai and East to Zanzibar / Safari’s End etc.
William James Morden was born in Chicago, Ill. on January 3, 1886 to a wealthy family with a railroad business. He graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University in 1908 with an advanced degree in engineering, which he put to use while working for his family’s company before serving as a lieutenant in the Army Engineers Corps in France during WWI. Morden began his life as an explorer in 1921 when he took off on his first journey, an American Museum of Natural History expedition to the Yukon Territory. Four major expeditions followed which were also under the auspices of the American Museum of Natural History. These included voyages to central Asia for the Morden-Clark Asiatic Expedition in 1926 and the Morden-Graves Expedition in 1929-1930, and to Africa for the Morden African Expedition in 1922-1923 and for another expedition conducted 1947 and again in 1953. He also funded expeditions to Hawaii, Brazil, and Ecuador to collect fish specimens for the Ichthyology Department.
Morden’s expeditions primarily took place to gather mammalian specimens for the museum and he and his team also extensively filmed their experiences while traveling. His 1947 expedition to Africa yielded artifacts and film footage of a number of tribes. Irene Hambright Morden, Morden’s second wife, was an active participant on these expeditions and the two completed a book on some of their experiences entitles Our African Adventure, published in 1954. William James Morden died in his home in Chappaqua, NY on January 24, 1958. (Biographical note on William James Morden on the American Museum of Natual History Research Library’s website)
After his death, Irene led an expedition to Africa in 1965 under the auspices of the Yale Peabody Museum. (the African Collection at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History website)