New York: Harper & Brothers, 1879. First American edition. A London edition was published in the same year. With a frontispiece and 12 plates, one of which is a foldout color map of the Euphrates region, plus a fold-out chart of Arabian thoroughbred horse pedigrees. Some rubbing to extremities, mostly at head and tail of spine. The binding is very clean and attractive despite a bit of fading. Dark blue endpapers. Cracking to inner hinges. Small piece missing from lower corner of map. Horse pedigree chart was at some point mis-folded and is now missing about a one-inch strip from fore-edge, affecting a few lines of text. Foxing to tissue guards and some light marginal toning. Library bookplate to front endpaper. Still a very good, tight copy. Publisher’s dark blue cloth with gilt illustration of an Arab man on horseback. Gilt spine. Item #16797
The present work gives a detailed account of the Euphrates region, sourced for the most part from the friends and traveling companions that Anne Blunt (1837 – 1917) and her husband, the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, met during their travels there. The book includes musical notation for local songs on seven pages, extensive information on the tribes and religious demographics of the Euphrates region (pp. 380-384), and a chart of the royal lineage of their traveling companion Faris (p. 231). There is also information on Arabian horse pedigrees dating back to the horses of Ishmael.
Anne Blunt, the daughter of Ada Lovelace and the granddaughter of Lord Byron, began her travels in the Middle East and North Africa in the 1870s. She continued living and traveling there until her death in 1915. Blunt was the first European woman to traverse the Arabian desert, a voyage she undertook on horseback, and is in large part credited with restoring the dwindling Abbas Pasha stock of Arabian horses and thus influencing horse breeding worldwide. She was also a musician, an important diarist, and a celebrated watercolorist whose paintings were exhibited into the 1990s.