Two overland journeys through eastern Oman

[Oman]. Cole, C. S. D. An Account of an Overland Journey from Leskkairee to Meskat and the "Green Mountains" of Oman. (And:) Ward, C. G. / Sylvester, C. J. Account of a Journey from Soor to Jahlan, and Thence to Ras Roves. (In:) Transactions of the Bombay Geographical Society. From January 1847 to May 1849 [...]. Volume VIII.

Bombay, James Chesson, Times' Press, 1849.

8vo (142 x 216 mm). Pages 106-119 and 101-106; entire volume: (4), LI, (1), LII-LXXXIV, (1), 382 pp. With 4 lithographed plates. Contemporary green full morocco, spine titled in gilt, covers ruled in gilt, upper cover with Kennelly coat of arms. Leading edges and inner dentelle gilt; all edges gilt.


Rare first edition of the 8th volume of the "Transactions of the Bombay Geographical Society", containing two valuable accounts of overland journeys through eastern Oman made in November and December 1845. The longer expedition was made by Lt. C.S.D. Cole, one of the Palinurus surveyors, from al-Ashkara on the south-eastern coast to Muscat via Bidyyah, Sinaw, Manah, Nizwa, Jebel Akhdar (the "Green Mountain"), and Samaiyl. "Despite being disguised under the name of 'Salim', Cole was always, during his journey, surrounded by immense crowds with great curiosity. Wherever he went in Oman, he was accommodated and received courteously. In Jalan, he 'was nearly suffocated with great quantities of milk' which the native ideas of hospitality compelled him to swallow. Cole noticed that many chieftains in Oman had slaves, but he was astonished by the kindness that slaves received [...] From Nizwa, he ascended to the summit of the Green Mountain where he found the natives, though Muslims, indulging in wine of their own making. Leaving Nizwa, on his final route to Muscat, Cole tells us that he halted for a night at a traveller's bungalow in a village named Mettee, noticing that most places in Oman had a building set apart solely for the use of travellers" (Al-Hajri, p. 139f.).

The other overland expedition was made from Sur to Ra's ar Ru'ays by C. G. Ward, Acting Master, Dr C. J. Sylvester, Assistant Surgeon, and Mr James, all likewise of the Palinurus. They give a good account of Jalan Bani Bu Hassan, some ninety kilometres inland from Ras al-Hadd.

The "Transactions" were one of the most significant Indian publications of the time, containing first-hand information on the members' scientific expeditions and journeys in Asia, the Middle East, and India, the majority published here for the first time. The first 84 pages contain the proceedings of the Society's meetings; the following pages contain the articles submitted by members of the Society, dealing with various further subjects of research in India, Africa, Persia, and Palestine.

Binding a little rubbed, but generally in excellent condition. Presentation copy, handsomely bound for D. J. Kennelly, secretary of the Bombay Geographical Society, with lithographed presentation bookplate to front pastedown, dated 1866.


Macro 734 & 2264. Wilson 46. Hilal Said Al-Hajri, British Travel-writing on Oman: Orientalism Reappraised (Bern 2006), p. 139f.