Notable work of travel literature

Miles, Samuel Barrett. The Countries and Tribes of the Persian Gulf.

London, Harrison and Sons, 1920.

4to. 2 vols. (12), 264 pp. (4), 265-643 pp., final blank. With frontispiece portrait and 8 photographic plates. Contemporary stamped cloth with cover and spine titles.


Second printing of the equally scarce 1919 first edition of this notable work of travel literature by the British Army officer S. B. Miles, who served as a diplomat in various Arabic-speaking countries, notably Oman, which he came to know better than any other European of the time. His intent to revise the notes he had "jotted down on odd bits of paper as he rode through the desert on his camel" (Preface) was rendered impossible due to his failing eyesight. Five years after his death his widow decided to publish the manuscript as she found it, enriching it with Miles's travelogue of Mesopotamia as well as an index. The work includes the political and economic history of Oman and the Gulf as well as the history and geography of Dhofar, Arab tribes, and pearl fishing. The plates show the forts at Bahila, Yabreen, and Rostak, as well as the house of Seyyid Hamed Bin Azzar at Rostak, a group of locals, and date palms, while the frontispiece depicts Miles resting in a chair wearing his sunglasses.

Binding slightly rubbed and soiled, cockling to upper cover of vol. 2, rebacked. A good copy of this popular work that saw re-issues in 1966 and 1994.


Cf. Ghani 250 (1966 reprint only).