Travels in Mesopotamia.

Including a Journey from Aleppo to Bagdad [sic], by the route of Beer, Orfah, Diarbekr, Mardin, & Mosul; with researches on the Ruins of Nineveh, Babylon, and other ancient cities.

London: Henry Colburn, 1827 Stock Code: 139041

Unfortunately this item is no longer available.

"Full of lively descriptions"

First octavo edition, published in the same year in quarto. Buckingham (1786-1855) spent much of his early life as a merchant sailor. Between 1813 and 1814 he travelled in Egypt, meeting Muhammad Ali Pasha, who despatched him to Bombay to develop trade with India. There he accepted a further commission from the Imam of Muscat, but was forced to return to Egypt by the East India Company. From Cairo he travelled overland India through Syria, Iraq and Iran. Travels in Mesopotamia recounts the Aleppo to Baghdad leg of the voyage, undertaken in mid-1816.

In 1818 Buckingham established the Calcutta Journal, an antigovernment periodical, and was expelled from India five years later, subsequently becoming a vocal supporter of the temperance and other Liberal movements. He "spent far longer in the Arab world than most other occasional visitors" (Hamilton, The Arcadian Library, p. 96) and his travel writings, which he wrote partly to fund legal battles in defence of his character, are "especially notable for the information they provide about social conditions in the many countries he visited" (ODNB). Travels in Mespotamia is considered "full of lively descriptions and sympathetic characters" (Blackmer) and is dedicated to Lady Hester Stanhope, "one of the brightest ornaments of her sex and station". The two folding plates are from drawings by the "brilliant linguist, orientalist and archaeologist" Claudius James Rich (Wright, p. 92).

Confused? Read our glossary


2 volumes, octavo (215 x 129 mm). Near contemporary dark green calf, decorative gilt spines, dark maroon twin labels, sides with border of paired gilt fillets enclosing a blind dog-tooth panel, corner rosettes in gilt and blind, gilt foliate edge roll and turn-ins, combed marbled edges and endpapers.


Wood-engraved frontispiece to each volume and 25 similar vignettes, engraved folding map by Sidney Hall showing Buckingham's routes, lithograph folding plan of the Ruins of Babylon and folding plate showing the principal ruins at Babylon, both by F. Ross


Engraved armorial bookplate of Richard Blanshard (1817-1894), barrister and first governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island; prior to this appointment he had "served in India during the Sikh War of 1848–49, and at the end of the campaign was decorated for bravery" (Dictionary of Canadian Biography); ownership inscription in purple pencil to front free endpapers of one Reginald J. Sims. Bindings a little rubbed at extremities, a couple of labels chipped, some light scuffs and abrasions to covers, dark tide-mark to front cover of vol. I, folding map a little proud of fore-edge, scattered foxing, yet this remains an attractive set.


Arcadian Library 11106; Atabey 163 for the first octavo edition (1827); Blackmer 233; Burrell 128; Howgego II B69; Weber 146; Denis Wright, The English Amongst the Persians (2001).


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book