Travels Through Syria and Egypt, In the Years 1783 1784, and 1785
VOLNEY, Constantin-Francois Chasseboeuf, Comte de
Title continues: "Containing The present Natural and Political State of those Countries, their Productions, Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce; with Observations on the Manners, Customs, and Government of the Turks and Arabs." Volney (1757-1820) was a well-travelled, learned man. He embarked on a journey to the Near East in late 1782 and spent nearly seven months in Ottoman Egypt. Afterwards, he lived for nearly two years in Greater Syria in what is today Lebanon and Israel in order to learn Arabic. He returned to France in 1785 where he spent the following two years compiling his notes and writing these volumes. He continued to travel in later years, being expelled from the U.S.A. as a suspected spy in 1797. It seems his life was always an adventure, for he narrowly escaped the guillotine during the French Revolution. Of interest in these well-preserved volumes is the account given of the Arabic press at the convent of Marhanna (vol. 2 pp. 190-191) with a catalogue of books printed there (p. 196). On the macabre side is the extensive discussion of diseases prevalent in Egypt, including smallbox, blindness, cutaneous eruptions, plague, and Neapolitan Disease, which seems to be syphillis (vol. 1 pp. 240-258). Indexed.
Publisher: G.G.J. and J. Robinson
Edition: Second Edition
Date Published: 1788
Place Published: London
Condition: Very good
Dust Jacket: No
Jacket Condition: n/a
Details: 2 vols.: xii, 418; iv, 500,  p. 22 cm. 5 engraved fold-out plates, including 2 maps. 1. Full tree-calf leather. Corners lightly bumped. Vol. 2. Small dent on bottom of rear board in vol. 1 as well as a bit of soiling to lower edge of text block. Vol. 2 has large horizontal tear in p. 327, chip in third plate, and dampstains to front pastedown and inner margins of first pages. Paper bright and clean.