BURCKHARDT, JOHN LEWIS. 1784-1817.
1. Travels in Nubia. 1819. Etched portrait frontispiece, 3 engraved maps (2 folding). Frontispiece and first map with light crease, third map facing p 163 with small repaired tear, lightly creased and with some light spotting, without half-title or 3Z2 (blank). Hilmy I, 105.
2. Travels in Syria and the Holy Land. 1822. Half-title. Lithograph portrait frontispiece after Henry Salt, 6 engraved maps or plans (2 folding). Frontispiece shaved with slight loss to imprint, light spotting to first folding map, small neat repair to the second, browning and offsetting to text facing maps, neat repair to lower inner corners of 4P1-4. Atabey 166; Blackmer 237; Rohricht 1627; Tobler, p 141; Weber I 107.
3. Travels in Arabia. 1829. Half-title. Folding engraved frontispiece map, 4 additional maps or plans. Map shaved with slight loss to headline, light spotting to first folding map, small neat repair to the second, browning and offsetting to text facing maps, neat repair to lower inner corners of 4P1-4, without 3O4. Cf. Blackmer 239 (8vo edition); cf. Gay 3606 (8vo edition).
4. Notes on the Bedouins and Wahabys.... 1830. Engraved frontispiece map. Map shaved with loss to the neat line, light spotting to title and last leaf. Gay 1963; Weber I 169.
5. Arabic Proverbs.... 1830. Occasional light spotting or soiling, binding rebacked with old spine laid down. Blackmer 240; Gay 1963; Weber I 169.
Together, 5 volumes. London: John Murray, 1819-1830. 4to (262 x 205 mm). Uniform late 19th-century tree calf gilt by Stocker & Gilbert. Housed together in cloth slipcase. Bindings with occasional splits to joints, some chipping to head and foot of spines, spines lightly faded, one volume rebacked with old spine laid down.
Provenance: James McDonald (armorial bookplate).
RARE COLLECTION OF THE QUARTO FIRST EDITIONS OF ALL OF BURCKHARDT'S MAJOR WORKS. Johann Ludwig (also known as John Lewis, Jean Louis) Burckhardt was born in Switzerland. He is now highly regarded for his insightful works on the Islamic world of the Middle East, (he is best known for "rediscovering" the ruins of Petra). Ironically, although his notebooks and letters show him to have been an insightful and highly resourceful traveler, he failed in his declared main aim of leading an expedition to discover the source of Niger: he died on the eve of the departure of the expedition from Egypt across the desert. The present collection of all of his major works describe the world in which he immersed himself: from 1810 he lived in Aleppo, in Syria, and made a number of exploratory journeys in the region. Burckhardt visited Palmyra, Damascus, Lebanon and made a series of other exploratory trips in the region. One of these trips, in what is now modern-day Jordan, resulted in his rediscovery of the ruins in Petra which had been unkown to the west for almost a millennium. Unsatisfied with this find he determined to continue with his original aim, and therefore, in 1812, he went to Cairo with the intention of joining a caravan to Fezzan, in Libya.
Facing delays and difficulties, Burckhardt once again temporarily abandoned his ultimate goal to travel up the Nile as far as Dar Mahass; and then across the Nubian desert, via Berber and Shendi to Suakin, on the Red Sea. From here he performed the pilgrimage to Mecca by way of Jidda. At Mecca he stayed three months and afterwards visited Medina. He eventually returned, exhausted, to Cairo in June 1815, but then, in the spring of 1816, he traveled to Mount Sinai, coming back to Cairo in June. He returned to making preparations for the journey to Fezzan. Unfortunately, he fell ill and died on October 15, 1817, but he had sent back to England a great many journals, notes and letters: during the next 12 years the present collections were published, and form a fitting record and memorial to this great explorer.