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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Palestine, Holy Land

The region known as the Holy Land has, rather unsurprisingly, occupied the passions, fears, and desires of people for a considerable amount of time. At least the last two and a half thousand years, we can safely assume! For the contemporary collector, however, there is the added awareness of recent history which overlays our understanding of the field. One such book which highlights this understanding would be James Silk Buckingham’s rare first edition classic Travels Among the Arab Tribes which features tales of his experiences as a sea captain and land explorer from provinces as far ranging as Damascus, Tripoli, the Lebanon and Aleppo. First published in 1822, what is remarkable about a first edition of this book is not only the fold out map, but also the woodcut illustrations throughout from the author who was also deeply entrenched in the world of fine press printing, as the founder of The Colonial Review, the Calcutta Journal, the Sphynx and the Argus. It is no wonder that a very fine first edition of this book would be worth three or four thousand dollars.

If the above is a little out of your price range, then consider instead the slightly more affordable price of one and a half thousand dollars for the 1836, fully illustrated, three volume work Syria, The Holy Land, Asia Minor & c by Jon Carne. These volumes feature some stunning illustrated views by William H Bartlett and William Purser, each volume beautifully bound in full green morocco.

One of the many intriguing aspects of collecting books about the Holy Land (or many places in the world once deemed to be ‘other’) is the lens through which these books are presented, and how. There are many interesting and remarkable stories from the nineteenth centuries of individual explorations and the ‘great expeditions’ undertaken by the imperial upper classes, many of which privately printed their exploits. When collecting, it is necessary to choose a volume as close to true first edition as possible, and in good condition – but rest assured that they will always be of interesting social, historical, and cultural value.

If these tales of imperial exploits sit sour in the mouth of some collectors, then there is always the option of the very fine works of geographical study of the Holy Land. Consider a late, but very detailed 1986 Maps of the Holy Land Cartobibliography of Printed Maps 1475-1900 which is a beautiful first edition hard cover featuring over seventy black and white reproductions of early maps of the area, as well as over twenty full colour plate reproductions as well. Compiled by Eran Laor and Shoshanna Klein, this volume would be a wonderful edition to any study of the area at the very fetching price of seven or eight hundred US dollars.

Buckingham, James Silk. Travels in Palestine. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown: London (1822). Second edition; 2 volumes; Full title-Travels in Palestine, through the countries of Bashan and Gilead, east of the river Jordan

Spilsbury, F. B. Picturesque scenery in the Holy Land and Syria. G. S. Tregear: London (1823). Full title-Picturesque scenery in the Holy Land and Syria, delineated during the campaigns of 1799 and 1800

Buckingham, James Silk. Travels among the Arab Tribes. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown: London (1825). Full title-Travels among the Arab tribes inhabiting the countries east of Syria and Palestine, including a journey from Nazareth to the mountains beyond the Dead Sea, and from thence through the plains of the Hauran to Bozra, Damascus, Tripoly, Lebanon, Baalbeck, and by the valley of the Orontes to Seleucia, Antioch, and Aleppo

Madden R.R. Travels in Turkey, Egypt, Nubia, and Palestine. Henry Colburn: London. (1829). 2 volumes

Raguse, Duc de. Voyage Du Marechal Duc De Raguse. Ladvocat Libraire: Paris (1837). 5 volumes

Russell, Michael. Palestine or the Holy Land from the Earliest Period to the Present Time. Oliver and Boyd: Edinburgh (1837). Fourth edition

Stebbing, Henry. The Christian in Palestine; or, Scenes of Sacred History. George Virtue: London (1847). Illustrated by William Bartlett

Margoliouth, Moses. A Pilgrimage to the Land of My Fathers. Richard Bentley: London (1850). 2 volumes

Burton, Isabel. The inner life of Syria, Palestine, and the Holy Land. Henry S. King and Co: London (1875). 2 volumes

Baedeker, Karl. Palestine and Syria: Handbook for travellers. Kark Baedeker: Leipsic (1876).

Wilson, Charles William. Picturesque Palestine, Sinai and Egypt. J. S. Virtue: London (1880). 4 volumes

Baedeker, Karl. Palestine and Syria with routes through Mesopotamia and Babylonia and the Island of Cyprus.. Kark Baedeker: Leipsic (1912). Fifth edition

Briggs, Martin S. Muhammadan Architecture in Egypt and Palestine. Clarendon Press: Oxford (1924).

Richmond, Ernest Tatham. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Clarendon Press: Oxford (1924). Full title-The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem: A Description of its Structure and Decoration

Sandys, George. A Relation of a Journey Begun An Dom 1610. W.Barrett: London (1615). Third Edition

Burton, R. A Journey to Jerusalem. J. Babcock: Hartford (1796). Author pseudonym of Nathanial Crouch; Other author Samuel Brett

Burckhardt, John Lewis. Travels in Syria and the Holy Land. John Murray: London (1822). Preface by William Martin Leake

Spilsbury, F. B. Picturesque scenery in the Holy Land and Syria. G. S. Tregear: London (1823). Full title-Picturesque scenery in the Holy Land and Syria, delineated during the campaigns of 1799 and 1800

Carne, John. Syria the Holy Land Asia Minor. Fisher Son and Co: London (1836). 3 volumes; Illustrated by William Bartlett and William Purser

Skinner, Thomas. Adventures During a Journey Overland to India. Richard Bentley: London (1836). 2 volumes; Full title-Adventures During a Journey Overland to India, by Way of Egypt, Syria, and the Holy Land

Lindsay, Alexander William Crawford. Letters on Egypt, Edom and the Holy Land. Henry Colburn: London (1838). 2 volumes; Second Edition

Carne, John. Syria, The Holy Land, Asia Minor. Fisher Son and Co: London (1838). 3 volumes; Illustrated by William Bartlett

Lamartine, Alphonse de. Travels in the East. William and Robert Chambers: Edinburgh (1839). 5 volumes; Other authors J.L. Stephens, George Stephens and Howard Malcom

Horowitz, Hayyim. Hibat Yerushalayim [Love of Jerusalem]. Press of Moshe and Yehudit: Jerusalem (1844).

Margoliouth, Moses. A Pilgrimage to the Land of My Fathers. Richard Bentley: London (1850). 2 volumes

Roberts, David. The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, and Nubia. Day and Son: London (1855). 6 volumes; Other authors George Croly and Louis Hague

Twain, Mark. The Innocents Abroad. American Publishing Company: Hartford (1869). Full title-The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims' Progress: Being Some Account of the Steamship Quaker City's Pleasure Excursion to Europe and the Holy Land; with Descriptions of Countries, Nations, Incidents and Adventures, as They Appeared to the Author

Maughan, William C. Alps of Arabia. Henry S. King and Co.: London (1875). Second Edition; Full title-Alps of Arabia: Travels in Egypt, Sinai, Arabia and the Holy Land

Croly, George. The Holy Land. Cassell, Petter, Galpin and Co: London (1889). Illustrated by Louis Haghe and David Roberts

Smith, George Adam. Atlas of the Historical Geography of the Holy Land. Hodder and Stoughton: London (1915).

Laor, Eran. Maps of the holy land. Cartobibliography of printed maps. Alan R. Liss Inc / Meridian Publishing Company: New York, Amsterdam (1986). Other author Shoshana Klein