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ARABIA DESERTA

Category: travel
Item Number: 14484
Price: $550

Charles M. Doughty

Doughty, Charles M. Travels In Arabian Deserta. New York: Random House,1943. 9" x 6.25." With An Introduction by T.E. Lawrence. New and definitive edition in one volume. First edition thus. pp: (iii), 674; 696; several foldout plates and text illus; large, folding map in color bound at back. Hand-bound and stamped signed by Maurin. Gorgeous 3/4 leather binding of deep Mahogany French Levant crushed morocco. Three raised spine bands with gilt accents. Bright gilt paneling and elaborate gilt designs in spine compartments. Gilt lettered direct. Cloth boards with gilt ruling. T.E. Lawrence in his introduction to the 1921 edition describes this 'not like other books...a bible of its kind'. In referring to Doughty's own impressions of his effort, Lawrence states: '[H]e calls his book the seeing of a hungry man, the telling of a most weary man." ARABIA DESERTA is one of the best-known classics of exploration and travel. Few writers of any genre have worked such magic or mischief on the English language as Doughty. He disapproved of Victorian prose style, and mingled his own with Chaucerian and Elizabethan English and Arabic. But whatever the style, the result is perhaps the finest book on Arabia ever written. Another Arabist, T.E. Lawrence, speaks on Doughty: "I have talked the book over with many travellers, and we are agreed that here you have all the desert, its hills and plains, the lava fields, the villages, the tents, the men and animals. They are told of the life, with words and phrases fitted to them so perfectly that one cannot dissociate them in memory. It is the true Arabia, the land with its smells and dirt, as well as its nobility and freedom. There is no sentiment, nothing merely picturesque, that most common failing of oriental travel-books. Doughty's completeness is devastating. There is nothing we would take away, little we could add. He took all Arabia for his province, and has left to his successors only the poor part of specialists. We may write books on parts of the desert or some of the history of it; but there can never be another picture of the whole, in our time, because here it is all said..." (- from the Introduction). Binding is solid and shows minimal wear. Burgundy endpapers, which remain free from Ex Libris plates and free from signatures.Text is clean. Preceding the title-page is a two-page engraved presentation to B. Hubert Cooper, dated 1943, signed in ink by Glenn McHugh. Overall in very good condition.

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