Maggs Bros Ltd

The Empty Quarter: being a Description of the Great South Desert of Arabia known as Rub' al Khali.

PHILBY Harry St John Bridger (1933.)

£1200.00  [First Edition]

Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.

First edition. 32 half-tone plates (some including more than 1 image). With 2 coloured maps at rear, the folding map of Rub' al Khali, the extending map of Arabia. 8vo. Fine in the original green cloth, gilt titles to spine. Attractive pictorial bookplate of John Raymond Danson to front pastedown. xxxiv, 433pp. London, Constable, 

Considered his most remarkable journey, Philby's exploration of the Rub' al Khali was not the first by a westerner (Bertram Thomas had traversed the region a year previously), but did make major scientific and geographical contributions to the western understanding of this area, described as "the most inhospitable regions of a barren land".

"By day he collected place names, temperatures, compass bearings, barometric pressures, rocks, fossils, flora and fauna, and ancient inscriptions. At night he wrote them up in his diaries, squatting in the sand by lamplight and hiding his work from his suspicious Arab escort. These journeys [...] won him high honour with the Royal Geographical Society, the British Museum, Kew Gardens, and academic societies all over the world. He was awarded the founder's gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1920 and the Sir Richard Burton memorial medal of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1925." ODNB

Stock Code: 227559