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William Gifford Palgrave - Narrative of a year's journey through Central and Eastern Arabia (1862-3) - 1865

Lot reference 18588111
William Gifford Palgrave - Narrative of a year's journey through Central and Eastern Arabia (1862-3) - 1865

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Current bid $551
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Location: Ireland
Auction fee: 9% of the winning bid
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Colonial history, History, Propaganda (military), Sport, games & pastimes, Travels - Quantity: 2

Object: Book
Number of Books: 2
Subject: Colonial history, History, Propaganda (military), Sport, games & pastimes, Travels
Author/ Illustrator: William Gifford Palgrave
Book Title: Narrative of a year's journey through Central and Eastern Arabia (1862-3)
Condition: Good
Publication year oldest item: 1865
Edition: 1st Edition
Language: English
Publisher: Macmillan and Co., London
Binding/ Material: Hardback


"Narrative of a Journey Through Central
and Eastern Arabia (1862-63)."

Volumes of uniform size 23 x 15 cm.

First editions 1865. Scarce set.
Signature, date and bookplate of
R.H. Inglis Palgrave, British economist
and brother of the author.

Green cloth boards with gilt cover vignettes.
Gilt titles on spine.
Untrimmed page edges.

Volume I.

xii, [1], 466 pages + 2 page publishers catalogue.
Frontispiece portrait with tissue-guard.
Dedication page. 2 fold-out plans.
Fold-out hand-coloured map (small tape repair).
Replacement endpapers. Signature and date.
Original published article from "The Times" April 4 1872.

Volume II.

[1], 398 pages + 22 page publishers catalogue.
Title page vignette. 2 fold-out plans.
Bookplate of Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave.

"William Gifford Palgrave was referred to by
The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society as one
of the most important European explorers of the Arabian
Peninsula. After ordination into the Jesuit order he
convinced his superiors to allow his mission into the
interior of Arabia an unknown territory to the rest
of the world.
He also gained the support of the French emperor,
Napoleon III, representing to him that better knowledge
of Arabia would benefit French imperialistic schemes
in Africa and the Middle East. Palgrave then returned
to Syria, where he assumed the identity of a travelling
Syrian physician. Stocking his bags with medicines and
small trade goods, and accompanied by one servant,
he set off for Najd, in north-central Arabia. He traveled
as a Christian. The service he would do for the Society
of Jesus and the French empire would be as a spy,
not a missionary. At one point Palgrave was accused of
espionage and was almost executed for his Christian beliefs.
After travelling for a year from Syria, through Najd, and on
to Bahrainand Oman, he returned to Europe, where he
wrote a narrative of his travels. This narrative became a
bestseller. It makes no mention of the covert motives fo
his journey.
After writing this book, Palgrave made yet another volte-face
and renounced the Catholic Church in 1865. In 1868 he
married Katherine, the daughter of George Edward Simpson,
of Norwich, by whom he had three sons. He was appointed
consul at St. Thomas and St. Croix in 1873, Manila in 1876,
and in 1878 in Bulgaria, where he was appointed Consul-General.
In 1879 he was moved to Bangkok. In 1884 he was appointed
Minister Resident and Consul-General to Uruguay, where he
served until his death in 1888."

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Sweden $57.42
Switzerland $39.73
United Kingdom $40.98
Rest of Europe $46.82
Anywhere else $70.20

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