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LAYARD, Austin Henry.

Nineveh and Its Remains:

With an Account of a Visit to the Chaldaean Christians of Kurdistan, and the Yezidis, or Devil-Worshippers; and an Enquiry into the Manners and Arts of the Ancient Assyrians.

London: John Murray, 1849 Stock Code: 145667
£500.00
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First edition. Layard who "grew up a Romantic, desperate for fame and exotic experiences, and contemptuous of English professional mores", turned his back on steady employ in his uncle's solicitor's office and set of overland to join another uncle in Ceylon. Side-tracked by adventure he set aside his original itinerary and lived for some time in the Bakhtiari Mountains with a tribe resisting the Shah's rule. Whilst returning to Baghdad via Mosul he became convinced that he had discovered the location of Nineveh, persuading Sir Stafford Canning to support his excavations at Nimrud. It was only after his return to England, exhausted and malarial, and the publication of this, his first, book that he realised that Kuyunjik was in fact the correct location, returning there, funded by the British Museum, in 1849. "Apart from the archaeological value of his work in identifying Kuyunjik as the site of Nineveh, and in providing a great mass of materials for scholars to work upon... Layard's are among the best written books of travel in the language" (Britannica).

This copy with the large armorial bookplates of the Royal Artillery library at Shoeburyness, Essex, to front pastedowns.

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Description

2 volumes, octavo (214 x 135 mm). Contemporary black half morocco, titles in gilt direct to spines, marbled boards and endpapers, red speckled edges.

Illustrations

Tinted lithographic frontispieces to each and 20 other plates in all, one double folding, one double-page, 5 folding maps and plans, numerous illustrations to the text.

Condition

Slight wear to extremities, discreet colour restoration, rubbed, occasional foxing to contents, ; still, a very good copy.

Bibliography

Atabey 685; Blackmer 968, second edition, "this well-received and fascinating account".

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