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    Richard F[rancis]. Burton. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah. In Three Volumes. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1855-1856. First edition. Three volumes. Octavo (8.5 x 5.5 inches; 217 x 142 mm.). [xvi], 388; [2, title], iv, 426; [6], [ix]-x, 448 pages. Five color chromolithograph plates, eight tinted lithograph plates, two black-and-white plates and three folding maps and plans. Original tissue guards where called for. Three-quarter brown morocco over brown marbled paper; ruled in gilt; spine lettered in gilt with five raised bands. All edges trimmed; top edge gilt. Brown marbled endpapers. Wear to spines, joints, and corners, milder at edges; some scuffing to morocco, spots of faint dark soiling. Free endpapers toned from offsetting morocco. Regular toning to interiors of text blocks; occasional minor foxing and wear to edges of text block. Ribbon markers frayed. Lacking half-title called for in volume three (?). Overall very good.

    "In 1852 Burton proposed to the Royal Geographical Society that he make the hajj, or pilgrimage, to the Islamic Holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Forbidden to non-Muslims, less than half a dozen Europeans were known to have visited them and lived, and of those only Swiss explorer J. L. Burckhardt had left a detailed account. Burton intended to make the pilgrimage in complete disguise as a Muslim native of the Middle East.... With support from the Royal Geographical Society and a leave from the East India Company, Burton sailed from England in April 1853"--DNB. Assuming the identity of Sheikh Abdullah, he arrived in Medina in July 1853 and at Mecca in September 1853, all the while recording the observations and experiences that would become his Personal Narrative. Penzer, pp. 49-50.

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    March, 2019
    6th Wednesday
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