A Spanish diplomat's travels from Ceylon to Damascus

Rivadeneyra, Adolfo. Viaje de Ceylan á Damasco, Golfo Pérsico, Mesopotamia, ruinas de Babilonia, Nínive y Palmira [...].

Madrid, M[anuel] Rivadeneyra for Cárlos Bailly-Bailliere, 1871.

8vo. IX, (3), 398, (1) pp., final blank page. Original printed wrappers.

 850,00

First edition. Detailed account of a Spanish diplomat's travels from Ceylon to Damascus, particularly remarkable for "the vivid manner in which the author describes the native tribes, and his complete absence of exaggeration or conceit, render[ing] this book extremely entertaining" (Appleton). Rivadeneyra spoke "Turkish and modern Arabic with a correctness that is the astonishment of the natives themselves" (ibid.), an expertise reflected in his travelogue, where he deems Arabic the language "spoken by a people that knew neither childhood nor old age, [a language] that emerged in the 6th century in sheer perfection, surpassing others in richness, flexibility and a sophistication achieved by few" (p. 385). Dedicated to and published by his father, whose business Rivadeneyra continued after retiring from diplomatic service in 1879.

Narrow paper clipping bearing the name of the bookseller and editor Cárlos Bailly-Bailliere in Madrid pasted over the original editor's name on the title-page. Wrappers somewhat chipped and soiled; shelfmark labels to spine. Interior occasionally brownstained. Rarely seen at auction.

Appleton, American Annual Cyclopedia (1872), XI, 470. OCLC 1025704980.