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Handbook of Hejaz.

Prepared by the Arab Bureau, Cairo. Second edition, February 26, 1917.

Cairo: Government Press, 1917 Stock Code: 142623
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Arab Bureau intelligence handbook for the Arab Revolt, contributed to and used by Lawrence.

An excellently provenanced copy of this scarce and important Arab Bureau intelligence manual produced for the Arab Revolt. This second edition expanded considerably on the first of 1916 compiled by Lawrence's mentor D. G. Hogarth, the revision including material from Lawrence himself. Classified secret, the print-run was just 200 and far fewer are likely to have been issued.

Hogarth was solely responsible for the compilation of the first iteration of this important guide covering the tribal and political organization, geography and passable routes in the region, which was hastily issued "to meet immediate demand created by the sherif's rising" (Hamm, p 276). The information for the present revised version was drawn from numerous sources, some native in origin, while much came from the intelligence, military and political officers deployed in the Arabian peninsula. Inevitably Lawrence made his contributions, he is credited with updating Route No. 9, Medina to Mecca, with reference to the section from Hamra to Rabugh, and undoubtedly other unattributed material from him was folded into the text. He also "specifically requested Cornwallis that he be sent a copy... and his reports on his activities in June and July 1917, before his assault on and occupation of Aqaba reveal a route that appears to have come from the route listings in the Hejaz Handbook" (ibid.).

The present copy was owned by an important protagonist in the conflict. William Cochrane (1878-1947), a shipping agent in civilian life had previously helped organise the pilgrimage to Mecca from Port Sudan. During the War he worked under Col. Cyril Wilson, the British Agent at Jeddah, organizing the pilgrimage of Muslims from British India to Mecca, which was seen as essential in building Sherif Hussein's trust in the British as allies in the revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Wilson was also tasked with building an intelligence network in the Hejaz, and laying the political groundwork for the alliance with the Sherif. In Cochrane Wilson had a trusted deputy: "Cochrane helped him with more than the pilgrimage: he also had a wise head for political correspondence and consular questions, and took charge of the 125,000 in gold sovereigns that was brought to Jeddah each month by the Red Sea Patrol of the Royal Navy" (Walker, p. 22). This was the Hussein's subsidy from the British, and Cochrane ensured that it was safely delivered.

Genuinely rare, institutionally Library Hub shows three locations in the UK - BL, Edinburgh, and Durham - WorldCat adding just one copy in the US at the Army War College; commercially only this copy, and a first edition in Peter Hopkirk's sale of 1988 traced on the market.

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Octavo (183 x 130 mm). Wire-stitched in the original sand linen-backed printed cream glazed paper-covered boards, pale grey endpapers.


Folding frontispiece Survey of Egypt 'Outline Map of Hejaz', folding pedigree of the 'Ruling Sherifal Family of Mecca', together with a loosely inserted folding 1: 750,000 'Railway Map of the Delta and Fayum', Survey Dept. Giza, 1913.


A little rubbed and soiled, spine mildly creased and with slight rust marks from the staples, one of which is juts protruding, front hinge cracking through the endpaper, the front free consequently coming loose at the head, but remains sound, frontispiece map with 40 mm closed tear repaired with tape versom additional railway map similarly repaired on a number of splits on the folds; a very good copy.


Not in O'Brien; see, Hamm, British Intelligence and Turkish Arabia: Strategy, Diplomacy,and Empire, 1898-1918 (Toronto, 2012) Philip Walker, Behind the Lawrence Legend. The forgotten few who shaped the Arab Revolt (Oxford, 2018) and Westrate, The Arab Bur


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