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Turkistan. Notes of a Journey in Russian Turkistan, Khokand, Bukhara, and Kuldja
Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, London 1876 - Two volumes. Volume One: Half-title, frontis. (with tissue guard), 10, 411[412], 24 p. undated catalogue. Erratum note on page x. Volume Two: [1], half-title, frontis. (with tissue guard), 8, 463[464] p. Seventeen plates altogether in both volumes (the number called for); three folding maps (colored); numerous engraved illustrations in the text after photographs and paintings. Brick red cloth ruled in black, gilt lettering and vignettes on the front cover and the spine. Schuyler was the best-qualified and best-informed American diplomat of his day. Amongst other languages, he knew Russian. Appointed first to Moscow in 1867, he advanced to Chargé d'Affaires in St. Petersburg in a few years. He was the first American official to visit Central Asia, then in process of conquest by and absorption into the Russian Empire. Schuyler departed Saratov by sledge in 1873, reached the Russian army at Khiva, then went on to Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khokand, gathering materials and keeping copious records of the journey the entire way. These formed the basis for Turkistan. In summer 1876 he quit Russia for Constantinople to take up the post of Consul General there: the preface to Turkistan is dated September 1876 in that city, whereupon the manuscript went off to England for publication. About two months later he received the first copies from London; amongst these few author's copies, the present set has a most excellent association: Schuyler inscribed it and sent it on to the woman he would wed early the next summer. Written in ink on the half-title to Volume One: "To Miss Gertrude Wallace King, with the regards of Eugene Schuyler. Constantinople, November, 1876." Volume Two as well bears the signature "Eugene Schuyler" on its half-title. Turkistan is a primary source on Central Asia of that era, and of the eras before, unique in its sweep, its detail, and its richness. In Volume One the plate to face page 238 appears instead facing page 138, either misbound there or because the numeral "1" was misread as "2" during text proof. A few old misfoldings of the maps have been corrected, leaving obvious creases in the wrong spots but no tears. The hinges to both volumes have been tightened. The exteriors of both volumes evince some dullness from age and slight soil here and there, whereas the interiors remain quite fresh--except for the prelims, which are somewhat foxed. Old cloth tears at the very head and foot of each spine have been archivally reaffixed to the underlayer and the fabric, while a bit of lost cloth surface on the Volume One spine has merely been sealed and made stable without restoral. A supportory tape strip, long gone but once laid over part of the spine vignette on Volume Two, has taken a small area of the gilt with it. The gilt lettering at the foot of the Volume Two spine is mostly rubbed away, as is some of the gilt on the vignette (besides the tape damage there). (NOTE: This item is being listed twice in AbeBooks, exceptionally to show a photograph of the inscription in Volume One as well as the two-volume set itself. Nine hundred is the price for both volumes together.) Nerhood 313. [Attributes: Signed Copy; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: CODEX]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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