Personal Account and Series of Adventures in Arabia, First Edition 1780
Item Number: 14440
IRWIN, Eyles. A Series of Adventures in the Course of a Voyage up the Red Sea, on the Coast of Arabia and Egypt; and of a Route through the Deserts of Thebais, Hitherto Unknown to the European Traveller, in the year MDCCLXXVII, in Letters to a Lady. Dublin: Sleater, Whitestone, Potts, Colles, Wilson, Jenkins, Flin Etc. 1780. 4to, 576 pp. With the original attached fold-out map of The Red Sea, wants 2 other maps. Antique full leather binding, with gold inlay on the spine.
First edition of Eyles Irwin's exciting personal account and observations in Arabia and Egypt in the 18th century. Irwin was born in Calcutta and served with the East India Company. Irwin was dismissed from the East India Company in 1776, and traveled through Arabia and Egypt on his return to England to seek redress. He left India in 1777 for England, when his ship was captured by pirates. From Cossier he was forced to cross the desert to Suez and then on to Luxor, Cairo and Alexandria. His journey lasted eleven months. Irwin's narrative is comprised of letters to an unnamed "Lady," which provides the reader with candid observations of the convergence of European and Arab cultures in the late 1700's. The letters detail the journey to various ports, cities and deserts of modern day Saudi Arabia. This book was published in 1780, a time when European exploration and travel was at its peak. The Arab world during the 1700's was considered mysterious, enchanting and exotic, thus attracting European travelers like Irwin. Tidrick remarks that Irwin's "travel narrative of 1780 was a long recitation of Bedouin treachery." Includes two poems by Irwin 'Ode to the dessert' and 'Ode to the Nile.' The title panel on the spine remains, the reverse board was detached and has been sewn back on with dark thread. There is a 3 1/2" split on the front hinge, although the hinge is still strong. Corners bumped and worn, with the top and base of the spine worn, with some chipping. The inside pages are very good. Overall in good condition.
Blackmer Collection 865; Atabey Collection 609