DOUGHTY, Charles M[ontague]

Travels in Arabia Deserta


Travels in Arabia Deserta

C.U.P., Cambridge 1888

In stock


A classic of travel literature.

‘Travelling on a scholar’s budget, [Doughty] had learnt Arabic in Damascus and in 1876 joined the Haj caravan as far as Mada’in Salih where he spent three months studying Nabataean tombs and inscriptions. For reasons unexplained he then attached himself to a family of Bedouin graziers, and subsequently other nomadic groups, in whose company he travelled and on whose hospitality he depended. Although seldom welcome and often robbed and abandoned, he also experienced great kindness, especially from the women, and came to appreciate the harsh realities of life for the over-romanticised Bedouin. He was twice expelled by the Rashidis of Ha’il, once by the Turks of Khaybar, and seemed condemned to wander the intervening wastes indefinitely until in 1878 he managed to reach Unayzah. There, besides the usual stone-throwing mob, he found friends who secreted him in a garden outside the city and arranged for his departure with a caravan heading for Mecca. On entering the Hejaz he was again robbed, made prisoner and all but murdered. Penniless and wretched he reached the safety of Jeddah after a two-year odyssey.’ – John Keay.


First edition. 2 volumes, 8vo., numerous plates, some folding, coloured folding map, dissected and laid down on linen, blue half calf by Riviere & Son, panelled spine in six compartments, gilt lettered direct in second and third, raised bands, top edge gilt others uncut, light spotting to fore-edge and preliminaries, a fine set.

Provenance: Edward Joseph Dent (armorial bookplate); Norman Douglas Simpson (bookplate); Steve Fossett (bookplate).



Stock ID: 98926