“A GENERAL TRIUMPH… THE BEST PORTRAIT OF DAMASCUS AND SYRIAN SOCIAL CUSTOMS AT THAT PERIOD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE”: ISABEL BURTON’S INNER LIFE OF SYRIA, PALESTINE, AND THE HOLY LAND
BURTON, Isabel. The Inner Life of Syria, Palestine, and the Holy Land. London: Henry S. King, 1875. Two volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter tan calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, red and black morocco spine labels, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt. $2600.
First edition of Isabel Burton’s narrative of travels with her husband, Richard Burton. With frontispiece photographic portrait in each volume, two lovely chromolithographic plates and folding map.
"I wish to convey an idea of the life which an Englishwoman may make for herself in the East." Thus begins Isabel Burton's record of her journeys following her esteemed husband through the Holy Land. "In the Inner Life, as elsewhere, the literary collaboration between the couple is evident. Although the bulk of it is lifted straight from Isabel's journals, surviving papers show that parts were from Richard's pen." Isabel's best-selling book was a "general triumph, to judge from reviews… It is not strictly a travel book, but it is gossipy, entertaining and informative on its subject, and provides the best portrait of Damascus and Syrian social customs at that period in the English language" (Lovell, A Biography of Richard & Isabel Burton, 607-614). Bookplates.
A bit of scattered light foxing; expert restoration to joints, spine ends and corners of attractive binding.