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Middle East

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  • T.E. Lawrence by his friends – Edited A.W.Lawrence 1938

    T.E. Lawrence by his friends – Edited A.W.Lawrence 1938

    “I deem him one of the greatest beings alive in our time. I do not see his like elsewhere. I fear whatever our need we shall never see his like again” – Churchill.

    An important book in the Lawrence cannon. Published in January1938 a fourth impression, seven months after the first. Large thick octavo, 595 pages, with illustrations. No jacket (scarce) but a pretty clean and solid copy.

    Contributors include numerous historical figures – Churchill, Allenby, Bernard Shaw, Kennington, Robert Graves, E.M. Forster, Ronald Storrs.

    We also very much like … at the front “Dates in the life of T.E. Lawrence” the Chapter by Jonathan Cape – his Publisher and near the back “Books at Clouds Hill” a complete descriptive list and following that ”Gramophone Records at Clouds Hill”.

    Voyager has fantasised about getting a copy of all the Clouds Hill books – unfortunately a number e.g. the early Morris books are out of Voyager’s pocket size.

    Lawrence by his special Friends few could compete.


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  • The Awakening of the Soul – Ibn Tufail – from the translation of Paul Bronnle -1907

    The Awakening of the Soul – Ibn Tufail – from the translation of Paul Bronnle -1907

    A scarce translation of Hayy ibn Yaqzan a 12th Century work by Moorish philosopher Ibn Tufail. The first philosophical novel ever written.

    Small octavo, 87 pages, missing blank free end paper, clean inside, good green cloth covered boards with title and design to front, titles similarly on spine. Very scarce.

    Published by the Orient Press, London as part of the Wisdom of the East Series. We believe this publisher was part of the John Murray enterprise.

    The work not only had an influence or later Arabic work but also, over time, a significant influence in Europe, especially during the period of European Enlightenment.

    An allegorical novel which recounts the story of a feral child who is brought up by a gazelle alone in the desert. Without any human contact the child discovers ultimate truth through a process of reasoned enquiry. The child, Hayy, meets a castaway Absal through whom he understands the human desires for material goods … Hayy concludes that such things are distractions and should be abandoned to maintain ultimate truth.

    As an aside the author had a varied career including physician to the Almohad King and was a supporter of dissection and autopsy .. expressed in the novel.

    Small but powerful first philosophical novel – scarce in this form.


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  • The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam – Trans Edward Fitzgerald

    The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam – Trans Edward Fitzgerald

    A Folio Society production from 1970. Their usual lavish production works well in this case – we are not always a fan.

    Edward Fitzgerald had a couple of goes at translating The Rubaiyat – this is his first and best we think.

    Tall octavo, unpaginated, 75 verses after introductions and a page of helpful notes at the end. Nicely, artistically, illustrated by Virgil Burnett. Decorative end paper, gilt and silvered ornate pattern over red cloth covered boards, gold paper covered custom slipcase.

    A nice and attractive Rubaiyat that would make a super gift.


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  • Tasmania’s A.I.F. Lighthorsemen – Peter J. Pickering

    Tasmania’s A.I.F. Lighthorsemen – Peter J. Pickering

    Self published in 2006 the full history of C Squadron, 3rd Light Horse Regiment – exclusively Tasmanian in WWI.

    Large format, soft cover, perfect bound. 142 pages, plus appendices. Magnificently illustrated, the original images, superb coloured charts of campaigns bring the whole story to a new level.

    Largely based on the authorised account of Sir George John Bell DSO CMG. The regiment went to Gallipoli and then back to Egypt and withing days thrown action in the western deserts and to the east of Suez. Among the soldier was a young wool classer Hudson Fysh who near the end of the campaign would take his first flying lessons. He would go on to fly London to Australia and later found QANTAS at Longreach in Queensland.

    Edition limited to 250 copies of which this is signed and numbered 219 by the author. Also signed by the then Governor of Tasmania William Cox.

    Scarce and very readable account – Tasmanian Heroes


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  • Seven Pillars of Wisdom  – a triumph – T.E. Lawrence (Of Arabia)  –  August 1935

    Seven Pillars of Wisdom – a triumph – T.E. Lawrence (Of Arabia) – August 1935

    Published by Jonathan Cape London 1935 – Seven Pillars of Wisdom a triumph – “The Sword also means Clean-ness + Death”. First trade edition second impression August after the July first.

    The Trade Edition preceded by the incomplete “Oxford” edition of 1922 (8 copies only were printed) and the very rare privately printed “Subscribers Edition” of 1927 (170 copies).

    Thick quarto, 672 pages, original brown cloth covered binding with gilt titles to spine and device to front. Carries the bookplate of Eric Ambrose on front paste down and his discrete personal label on the end papers. Eric Ambrose was a distinguished British architect and a Fellow of his Professional Body. Avery good copy

    Frontispiece portrait of a bust of Lawrence, 4 folding maps as called for, 2 facsimiles and a total of 54 illustrations – 46 of which are dramatic portraits of men who appear in the book. Albeit without the rare dust jacket this is the cleanest we have seen of this edition. The boards clean and unmarked and only the slightest bit of foxing limited to the rough cut paper edges.

    Lawrence “took pains to bring objects and artists together”. A classic book written by Lawrence after a very successful war leading

    the Arabs against the Turks, considered one of the most important books on war especially political and guerrilla warfare.

    Churchill called it “One of the greatest books ever written in the English language”

    Lawrence of Arabia’s great book. First trade great condition – 1935

    We simply have to give you some of Chapter 1 … “The everlasting battle stripped from us care of our own lives or of others’. We had ropes about our necks, on or heads prices which showed that the enemy intended hideous tortures for us if we were caught. Each day some of us passed; and the living knew themselves just sentient puppets on God’s stage: indeed, our taskmaster was merciless, merciless, so long as our bruised feet could stagger forward on the road. The weak envied those tired enough to die; for success looked so remote, and failure a near and certain, if sharp, release from toil. We lived always in the stretch or sag of nerves, either on the crest or in the trough of waves of feeling ..


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  • Acta Iranica – the King and Kingship in Achaemenid Art – Margaret Cool Root.

    Acta Iranica – the King and Kingship in Achaemenid Art – Margaret Cool Root.

    A scarce hardback edition from the superb series on Iranian studies Acta Iranica published by the International Committee of Scholars of the Indo-Iranian Studies at the University of Liege. Peer reviewed and published by E.J. Brill in Leiden, Netherlands.

    This edition Volume IX of the third series published in 1979. “Essays on the Creation of an Iconography of Empire” by the esteemed Margaret Cool Root.

    Large octavo, 357 pages followed by LXXII pages of plates from original photographs, illustration within the text one triple folding architectural plate.

    The author completed her Doctorate at Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia in 1976. This book is an expanded version of the work included in her Thesis. She is now Professor of her discipline at Michigan University.

    Achaemenid Art is the Art of the Kings, the official art of the Achaemenid Dynasty, arising from a clan of Persian people of that name who would ruled the Near East from 550 BC to 331 BC [the arrival of Alexander the Great]. An architectural, sculptural and artistic delight is contained in this large body of work.

    A scarce element on the history of an interesting period dominated by the Persian Achaemenid.


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