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Narrative of a Residence in Koordistan, and on the Site of Ancient Nineveh;
London: James Duncan,, 1836. with Journal of a Voyage down the Tigris to Bagdad and an Account of a Visit to Shirauz and Persepolis … Edited by his Widow. 2 volumes octavo (219 × 130 mm) Near contemporary russia, tan morocco lettering- and numberiing-pieces, low bands with dotted roll, gilt, compartments attractively gilt with repeated hexafoil and stylised foliate tools, single fillet panel gilt to the boards, board edges milled in blind. Folding map frontispiece to each, 10 lithographed plates in all, 3 of them folding, one folding plan, all plates and maps are laid down on linen, all plates have tissue-guards. Ex-San Francisco Mechanics Institute library, their perforated stamp to the title pages and to three text leaves in total, ink stamp to the top edges, ticket-pockets neatly removed from the rear pastedowns,frotnf ree endpaper neatly excised, text-blocks and plates a little browned and with the usual mild foxing, externally a little rubbed, corners bumped, tails of the spines with slight marks from the removal of labels, boards with a few other superficial scuffs and stains, but overall very good and presents well. Attractive bookplates of Rudolph J. Taussig, president of the MI, to the front pastedowns. First edition. An important study, which "long remained valuable, as the first nineteenth-century geographical and archaeological account of the region and also as an interesting narrative of travel. It was reissued in 1984 in recognition of its continuing value" (ODNB). A linguistic prodigy, Rich began the study of oriental languages at the age of nine. When he joined the HEIC as a cadet in 1803 he was described by a family acquaintance as "a most extraordinary young man. With little or no assistance he has made himself acquainted with many languages, particularly with the languages of the East. Besides Latin, Greek, and many of the modern languages, he has made himself master of the Hebrew, Chaldee, Persian, Arabic, and is not without some knowledge of the Chinese, which he began to decipher when he was but fourteen." His language skills convinced Charles Wilkins, the librarian to the Company, to persuade the directors to appoint him to a writership in Bombay, and he was attached as secretary to the consul-general in Egypt to "improve his Arabic and Turkish." Rich's ship was burnt, and he spent the next few years travelling the Mediterranean and Near East, including intelligence gathering in the interior of Asia Minor. In 1808 Rich became company resident at Bagdad, "where he remained for six years and during this period became the first European to excavate at the site of ancient Babylon" (Howgego). Ill health forced his return to Constantinople in 1813. "On his return through Asia Minor and Mesopotamia to Baghdad, he resumed his studies and collections, made his second visit to Babylon, and in 1820, being again in bad health, travelled in Kurdistan" (ODNB), the tour which is described in the present work. He died of cholera in Shiraz in 1821. "Parts of his collections were purchased by the trustees of the British Museum, and consisted of about 900 volumes of manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, and a great number in Chaldee and Syriac; a large collection of coins, Greek and oriental; and gems and antiquities dug up at Babylon and Nineveh, including the first cuneiform inscriptions ever brought to Europe
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2017-07-18           Check availability:      Biblio    

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