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WAGNER, Moritz.

Travels in Persia, Georgia and Koordistan;

with Sketches of the Cossacks and the Caucasus. From the German …

London: Hurst and Blackett, 1856 Stock Code: 109429
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A German traveller in the Caucasus

First edition in English, combining two works: Der Kaukasus und das Land der Kosaken (1847), and Reise nach Persien und dem Lande der Kurden (1851); the final volume, dedicated to his time in Persia, includes observations on the position of women in the region and the Great Game.

Wagner (1813-87) was a German geographer, natural historian and collector who carried out extensive expeditions worldwide. He is best known for his contribution to the development of evolutionary theory, but his dogmatic observations on the influence of geographic isolation on speciation led to a somewhat fraught correspondence with Darwin on the subject, with the latter finding his German colleague's increasingly hysterical tone upsetting (Mayr, The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance, pp.562-4). In the present work Wagner describes his travels across the Caucasus and into Persia. The first volume is largely focused on the people and political situation in the Caucasus, and the problems that Wagner experienced on his journey; the second volume continues his travels through Georgia and Armenia, collects a number of "human interest" pieces "Scenes of Caucasian Warfare", "Prince Michael Woronzoff", but concentrates to a large extent on his work as a natural historian.

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3 volumes octavo. Original rust linen-grain cloth, title gilt to the spines, panelling in blind to the boards, yellow surface-paper endpapers.


Somewhat rubbed and sunned, library labels removed from the front boards, press number gilt to the spines, contemporary bookplate of the Stoneleigh Reading Room to front pastedowns, and related gift inscriptions to the front frees of volumes I and II, neatly refurbished overall, some recolouring on the cloth, hinges restored, rear free endpaper of volume renewed, remains very good.


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