Cyril Wilson's copy: The "Handbook of Yemen", compiled by the Admiralty War Staff, Intelligence Division

Arab Bureau - (Cornwallis, Kinahan / Hogarth, David George). Handbook of Yemen.

Cairo, Government Press, 1917.

8vo. VI, 161, (4), 162-167, (1) pp. (Without the folding map.) Later yellow cloth, "Yemen" lettered to spine in manuscript, with original front board and front wrapper loosely inserted.


First edition of this rare and excellently compiled handbook on Yemen, in the south-west of the Arabian Peninsula, here with the signature of Cyril Wilson on the upper cover. Col. Wilson, a British resident in Jeddah during the Arab Revolt, was at one time the immediate superior to T. E. Lawrence, who praised him for his honesty in his "Seven Pillars of Wisdom". At an early stage in their professional relationship Wilson certainly held rather different views of his subordinate, particularly with regard both to Lawrence's adoption of Arab dress, of which Wilson strongly disapproved, and his irritating tendency to pontificate on subjects outside his expertise. Later they became friends, and Wilson much admired Lawrence's achievements. Lawrence was to send him a copy of the Oxford Mail edition of the "Seven Pillars of Wisdom". There is a colour portrait of Wilson in the 1926 edition.

The handbook, issued in the early months of the Great War by the Admiralty War Staff, Intelligence Division, is based on information obtained in Cairo and on material prepared for the Admiralty's Arabia Handbook, supplemented by native information. It remains very scarce: JISC locates just five holdings (Durham, Edinburgh, Oxford, SOAS and the Imperial War Museum). OCLC adds just one more, the only to be found outside the UK - at the U.S. Army War College, Pennsylvania. The present copy lacks the outline map found in other specimens.

Rebound, preserving the original wrapper cover with Wilson's ownership as a loose insertion. Interior complete and wonderfully fresh.

Stock Code: BN#51292 Tags: , ,