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first edition

Peter Beard

Longing for Darkness

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich


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A first edition, presentation copy of Kamante's Tales from Out of Africa, by Peter Beard.

  • Peter Beard (American).
  • Layout and design by Peter Beard and Marvin Israel.
  • Afterword by Jacqueline Bouvier Onassis.
  • New York and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975.
  • Quarto.
  • 364 pages.
  • Includes black-and-white photographs by Peter Beard and Karen Blixen.
  • With facsimile pages from Kamante Gatura's recollections, with photographs and color drawings.
  • Inscribed: "D [drawing of an ear] Patrick: Merry Christmas & Happy new year / (at which pt. you'll be getting 2 more of these overdue offerings) / [drawing of gift box and a crocodile] / warm regards / Peter (Beard)."
  • Gelatin silver photograph mounted within a book of matches on the front free endpaper.
  • Bound in photo-illustrated paper-covered boards, with illustrated price-clipped dust jacket.

Peter Beard first visited Africa at seventeen and, when returning a few years later, he read Out of Africa (1937), the book Karen Blixen wrote under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen, on the boat over. Captivated by the book, he traveled to Copenhagen to visit Blixen in 1961 and again in 1962. During this second visit, Blixen gave Beard a letter of introduction to her former majordomo, Kamante Gatura, a Kenyan national of the Kikuyu tribespeople. Beard suggested that Kamante write a book about his life with Njeri wa Kahuga (the Kikuyu name given to Karen Blixen). Longing for Darkness, which takes its title from Blixen's Shadows on the Grass (1960), features Kamante Gatura's recollections of his time with Blixen and folktales of his people; these were spoken into a tape recorder and were translated and transcribed by his sons. The book also includes his drawings, Karen Blixen's archival photographs and Peter Beard's photographs.

Condition Report

Star iconGood
Very Good
Like New

Toning to pages.

Tan endpapers.

Light rubbing to spine-ends and tips.

Light fading to spine.

Wear along top edge with a small chip to lower panel.


Height: 12 inches / 30.48 cm
Width: 8 inches / 20.32 cm


First Edition, Signed, Dust Jacket




Art, Natural history, History, Photographs, Travel, topography and voyages, Modern first editions

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