The Hejaz Railway just before reaching Mada'in Salih

Bel-Khodja, M'hamed. Le Pèlerinage de La Mecque.

Tunis, B. Borrel, 1906.

8vo (155 x 228 mm). 45, (5) pp. With a folding, coloured map and 14 wood-engraved illustrations in the text (one repeated as a frontispiece). Publisher's original blue wrappers, printed in red and black.


First edition thus: a French translation of the author's essay on the Hajj first published in Arabic in the "Roznémé Tounsié" (Annuaire Tunisien). The folding map at the back of the volume shows the route of the Hejaz railway, its course completed only as far as Tabouk at the time of publication, while the remainder of the line is shown in its projected state, still planned to run as far as Mecca. Indeed, when the rails reached Al-'Ula station very soon after this book came out, local tribes protested against the railroad, fearing it threatened their livelihood as providers of transport camels. Afterwards, Sultan Abdulhamid ruled that the railway would only run as far as Medina, where the line was completed on 1 September 1908.

M'hamed Bel-Khodja (1869-1943) was born into an Ottoman and Tunisian religious dynasty that was among the most important in the country in the 19th century. In 1902 he became director of the government press; in 1919 he was appointed qaid governor of Gabès and Bizerte, remaining an influential government adviser even after retirement.

A few tiny edge chips to covers, but generally very well preserved. Extremely rare: OCLC lists a single copy (Bibliothèque Gernet-Glotz in Paris).


OCLC 690876832.

Stock Code: BN#59402