A Pilgrimage to Nejd, the Cradle of the Arab Race. A Visit to the Court of the Arab Emir, and "Our Persian Campaign" [...].
8vo. 2 vols. XXXI, (3), 273 pp., final blank page; IX, (3), 283 pp., 1 blank page, 24 pp. of adverts. With 2 woodcut frontispieces (included in pagination), 13 woodcut plates, and several woodcut illustrations in the text, as well as 1 folded map of Northern Arabia. Contemporary full cloth, decorated in black and gold on covers and spine.
First edition. A true classic of travel literature, describing the 1879 expedition across the Nejd from Beirut, south into the Great Nefud, north to Baghdad and east to the Arabian Gulf, undertaken by Anne Blunt and her husband Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, a prominent couple of British explorers. Conveying "an ideal of an Arab aristocracy of the desert" (Nash), the travelogue describes the Blunts' interaction with sheikhs and emirs, but also their fascination with Arabian horses, including an account of the stables at Hail. Lady Blunt was, along with her husband, the founder of the Crabbet Arabian Stud, and the first European woman to journey to Central Arabia. Furthermore, the Blunts were the first Europeans to enter the Jebel Shammar in the Nejd "openly and at leisure", free to map and record geographical and physical features.
Apparently received as a gift from the author, with pencil inscription by the recipient on the flyleaf of volume I: "Lady Anne Blunt to Stephen Pearse" (?), additional pencil ownership of Flawn E. Thomas (?); a previous ownership erased. A few annotations and reading notes, also marking the date of beginning and ending each volume, between 6 and 13 October 1928. Later pencil acquisition note referencing Heffers bookshop in Cambridge (for 1/5/-), dated 11 January 1940.
Bindings a bit stained and slighty rubbed. Paper slightly foxed throughout; small tear to inner margin of the map (not touching image), small tear in the lower margin of the map repaired; tear to the contents page of vol. II repaired. Overall a good copy.
Macro 555. Nash, Travellers to the Middle East 73. Howgego III, B49. Boyd/P. 16. NYPL Arabia Coll. 164. Henze I, 277.