Woodcut frontis., woodcut vignette on title, 14 plates, & one folding floor-plan. 2 p.l., [iii]-xxiii, 390 pp. & 36 pp. of ads. Small 8vo, orig. patterned green cloth (corners just a tiny bit worn, minor foxing), sides stamped in gilt with an image of Curzon walking through the desert in Arab clothes in search of manuscripts on upper cover & a view of Jerusalem on lower cover, spine gilt. a.e.g. London: J. Murray, [second title]: New York: G.P. Putnam, 1849.
First American edition of “a great classic of the literature of travel, and one, moreover, which has book-collecting for its main theme.”–Munby, Phillipps Studies, III, p. 124. Munby considered Curzon “perhaps the most attractive figure in the annals of book-collecting in England.”–p. 122. The first edition was issued in London earlier in 1849.
In 1833, Curzon (1810-73), embarked on a tour of Greece and Egypt, amassing a large collection of valuable manuscripts. He recounted his adventures in the present work. “It immediately gained popularity, running to six editions by 1881. From a scientific point of view, also, these revelations of monastic treasures were of great importance, and it was Curzon’s experience that set others on the track which led to the acquisition of the magnificent collection of Nitrian manuscripts by the British Museum. Curzon has subsequently been criticized for removing the manuscripts to Britain, but it seems certain that many owe their preservation to the removal.”–ODNB.
Several of the illustrations are after sketches by the author.
An uncommonly fine and bright copy in the original cloth binding.
Item ID: 6806