RARE AND FASCINATING FIRST EDITIONS OF SIX WEEKS IN PALESTINE: SPRING, 1921 AND OUR SECOND VISIT TO PALESTINE: SPRING, 1922, EACH INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR, THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE SOCIETIES AND AN AVID TRAVELLER, MILLICENT GARRETT FAWCETT
FAWCETT, Millicent Garrett. Six Weeks in Palestine. Spring, 1921. WITH: Our Second Visit to Palestine. Spring, 1922. London: Women's Printing Society, [1921-22]. Two volumes. Octavo, original photographic gray paper wrappers rebacked. Housed together in a custom clamshell box. $4500.
First edition of these two privately circulated accounts of Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett's interwar travels in the Middle East, inscribed in Volume I: "with grateful memories," and in Volume II: "with all good Christmas wishes to you both M.G.F.," in original wrappers.
Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett was the president of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies for over 20 years. In that role, she advocated heavily for creating higher education opportunities for women. Fawcett was also well respected outside of women's suffrage for her remarkable intellect and civic-mindedness, eventually earning an appointment by the British government to investigate the concentration camps created during the Second Boer War. These works reflect Fawcett's interest in integrating travel with her socio-political goals. Fawcett and her sister Agnes made two spring trips to the Holy Land. The first, in 1921, included visits to Jerusalem, Galilee, Nazareth, Tiberias, and Haifa. During her second trip, she toured Beirut, Baalbeck, and Damascus, before ending her travels in Jerusalem. These two works are notable for containing Fawcett's personal reflections on the political and social issues affecting the Holy Land in the early years of the British Mandate. Indeed, while Fawcett's narrative of her travels is engaging and full of insightful observations, these works are largely valued for Fawcett's educated viewpoints on politics. Fawcett arrived in the wake of the Balfour Declaration and was keenly aware of the volatile politics of the period. Fawcett aligned herself with the Declaration, blaming Ottoman rulers for the instability in the region. Fawcett also used her travels as an opportunity to campaign for women's rights abroad. Practically, women's suffrage was not feasible in Palestine. Even in Britain, women had only recently secured the vote after years of militant campaigning. Nevertheless, Fawcett was optimistic about changing hearts and minds. Toward the end of Six Weeks in Palestine, she shares the details of a talk she gave to Jewish women in a room slated to become the library of the future Zionist University. Speaking to the women, she described the British struggle for women's rights and encouraged her audience to form a pan-religious, pan-racial coalition to win the vote. These books were originally printed for private circulation by the Women's Printing Society; they were later published by T. Fisher Unwin in a single volume as Easter in Palestine, 1921-2 (1926). Pencil initials on front wrappers.
Scattered foxing to interiors, repairs and light soiling to wrappers. A rare set in extremely good condition.