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HANSON, James, Captain.

Route of Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Nightingall, K.C.B. Overland from India.

In a series of letters.

London: For T. Baker, 1820 Stock Code: 124141
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Scarce narrative of a journey from Jeddah to Egypt

First and only edition of this engaging and elusive account. Hanson, described on the title page as "Late Assistant Quarter-Master-General with the Field Army of the Madras Establishment", acted as ADC to Sir Miles Nightingall, commander-in-chief of the Bombay Army, on his return home from India in 1819. The party sailed on the East Indiaman ship-sloop "Teignmouth" from Bombay to Suez via the Red Sea but were grounded on a sandbank in the Gulf of Aden. Having successfully re-floated they headed for Jeddah where they were welcomed by the Turkish governor, newly installed following the restoration of Ottoman rule in Egypt. Having taken advice from Henry Salt, consul-general in Egypt, they decided on an overland route across the desert that would take in the "most interesting and marvellous ruins" at Thebes. The map describes the route from Kosseir (modern day Quseer on the Red Sea) westwards inland to Kennah (Qena) on the Nile, just east of Dendera, passing ruined forts, "Hills having the appearance of Tombs" and "Sterile Desert - not a blade of Vegetation". Hanson's book is dedicated admiringly to Lady Nightingall - Florentia Darell, daughter of Sir Lionel Darell, chairman of the East India Company - who underwent "fatigues, privations, and even dangers" with an admirable sangfroid and "characteristic cheerfulness". Decidedly uncommon - the 2-page subscribers' list accounts for only 145 copies; Copac locates copies at seven British and Irish institutional libraries (Oxford, SOAS, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Cambridge, National Trust (Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire), St Andrews); no further copies added by OCLC.

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Octavo (224 x 138 mm). Recent dark brown half morocco, matching marbled boards, black morocco label, single gilt rules framing the spine bands and to spine and corner edges, endleaves renewed, untrimmed.


Folding map frontispiece of the route "across the desert from Kosseir to Khennah", 6 pages of musical notation at end ("Canzonetta. Arranged for two voices by Lady Torrens"), 2 pages in the text (pp. 106-07: "Arab Boat Songs on the Nile").


Lightly toned throughout, map bound in a little tightly and slightly offset onto title, but overall a very good, tall copy with the errata leaf.


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