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BURTON, Richard F.

Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah.

Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, London , 1855-6 Stock Code: 126964
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First edition. Fewer than half a dozen Europeans had made the hajj, or pilgrimage to the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina, forbidden to non-Muslims, and lived. Of those only the Swiss explorer J. L. Burckhardt had left a detailed account. Burton made the pilgrimage in complete disguise as a Muslim native of the Middle East, an exploit of linguistic and cultural virtuosity which carried considerable risk. During the several days that Burton spent in Mecca, he performed the associated rites of the pilgrimage such as circumambulating the Kaaba, drinking the Zamzam water and stoning the devil at Mount Arafat. His resulting book surpassed all preceding Western accounts of the holy cities, made him famous and became a classic of travel literature, described by T. E. Lawrence as "a most remarkable work of the highest value".

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3 volumes, octavo (208 x 131 mm). Contemporary half calf, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, red morocco label, raised bands, decorative roll to compartments in blind, marbled sides, boards triple ruled in blind, orange endpapers, edges sprinkled red.


15 plates of which 5 chromolithographs (including the famous portrait of Burton as "The Pilgrim" mounted as frontispiece to vol. 2), 8 single-tint lithographs, some with tissue guards, engraved plate of "Bedouin and Wahhabi Heads", 4 maps and plans of whi


Partially erased ownership inscription to title pages. Spines slightly rubbed, light scuffing to boards, a few pencil corrections to text and occasional light foxing to contents, maps and plans in good condition with small tear to plane of al-Medinah. A very good set.


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