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Travels in Arabia Deserta - Charles M. Doughty

1888 - At The University Press, Cambridge - First Edition
A superb and thus scarce two volume first edition of what Howgego describes as ‘one of the great classics of travel literature’, an ‘unrivalled encyclopaedia of knowledge about all aspects of nineteenth-century and earlier Arabia.’ (Oxford DNB). Profusely illustrated throughout with plates (many folding), sketches, maps and diagrams, together with large and magnificent folding colour ‘Sketch Map of Itinerarium of part of North Western Arabia and Negd’ in pocket at rear of volume 1. Housed in a bespoke matching green morocco and cloth clamshell case by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, spine lettered in gilt, enclosing two separate green cloth chemise.

‘I have talked the book over with many travellers, and we are agreed that here you have all the desert, its hills and plains, the lava fields, the villages, the tents, the men and animals. They are told of the life, with words and phrases fitted to them so perfectly that one cannot dissociate them in memory. It is the true Arabia, the land with its smells and dirt, as well as its nobility and freedom. There is no sentiment, nothing merely picturesque, that most common failing of oriental travel-books. Doughty's completeness is devastating. There is nothing we would take away, little we could add. He took all Arabia for his province, and has left to his successors only the poor part of specialists. We may write books on parts of the desert or some of the history of it; but there can never be another picture of the whole, in our time, because here it is all said.’ - T. E. Lawrence
 
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Price HK$ 72,000