The Red Sea Pilot.

From Suez and from 'Akabah to the straits of Bab-El-Mandeb, and the Arabian coast thence to 'Aden: with directions for the navigation of the Suez Canal

London: Printed for the Hydrographic Office, 1873 Stock Code: 142878
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Revised edition of this notably uncommon naval pilot, one of 1,250 copies. This edition was updated from the first edition of 1863 in order to include key information on the Suez canal, which opened in 1869. Two copies of this edition have been traced institutionally, held at the British Library and the New York Public Library.

This edition was updated in part by Arctic explorer and navigator George Nares (1831-1915), who commanded the first ship to pass through the Suez canal, the Newport, in November 1869. To do this Nares navigated his vessel in front of the French Imperial yacht L'Aigle on the night before the canal was due to open, making it impossible to be passed at the official opening. Nares received both an official reprimand and an unofficial vote of thanks from the Admiralty for his actions, and was promoted to the rank of captain.

Beyond the specifically maritime aspects, including coastal geography, the handbook provided basic background on local conditions, climate, trade (Jeddah noted as "carrying on a considerable trade and a regular place of call for the Egyptian mail steamers" p. 158), and local attitudes towards western sailors.

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Octavo. Original red cloth, title to spine and front cover in gilt, edges speckled red.


Ownership inscription of Coghlan in pencil to title page and of Grierson in ink to front free endpaper verso. Spines faded and creased, slight rubbing to extremities, inner hinges cracked, book block remaining firm, offsetting to endpapers, tiny chip to fore edge of rear free endpaper; overall a very good copy.


Macro 314 for eighth edition of the British title.


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