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Persian Gulf Pilot
London: published by the Hydrographic Department, Admiralty,, 1955. Comprising the Persian Gulf and its Approaches from Ras al Hadd, in the South-west, to Cape Monze, in the East. Octavo (240 × 150 mm). Original blue cloth, titles in yellow to spine and front board. 2 full-page maps, 4 pages of coloured buoyage systems, several diagrams and tables to the text, 30 plates of coastal profiles. Ownership monogram and sticker to notations of supplements page; notices from the publisher tipped in before title page and p. 1. Spine slightly sunned, front board a touch bowed, a little rubbed overall. A very good copy. First published 1870, this tenth edition following the ninth of 1942. All editions of these highly detailed navigational handbooks to the Gulf tend to be uncommon. Beyond the specifically maritime aspects, they provided background on local conditions, climate, items of trade and so forth; this edition in particular stands as a valuable record of areas that were soon to develop beyond recognition following the discovery of oil: "The coast between Dibai [sic] and Abu Dhabi … is, except for a small village, at which there are some date trees … quite barren, uninhabited, and … there is no tree larger than a mangrove bush. Landing unarmed on the mainland between Dibai and Abu Dhabi is not recommended, for it is often visited by Bedouin from the interior" (p. 161). Abu Dhabi itself "consists for the most part of huts and extends along the coast for nearly 2 miles. In the two there is a small fort … with five towers close together, on one of which is the flagstaff. A small tower stands on the beach, where there are several prominent stone buildings, one of which is erected on the low sandy point which projects slightly in a north-westerly direction from the town" (p. 163). Similar descriptions illuminate the pre-oil histories of Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar, along with Muscat, by contrast long-familiar to European travellers to India and the Far East.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2015-06-17           Check availability:      Biblio    

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