“PASSION AND CONFLICT IN THE DESERT”
HICHENS, Robert. The Garden of Allah. Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1904. Two volumes. 12mo (measuring 4-1/2 by 6-1/2 inches), contemporary full green morocco, raised bands, all edges gilt. Housed together in custom slipcase. $950.
First German edition (stated “Copyright Edition,” published the same year as the first edition; text in English) of Hichens’ “greatest success and best-known novel,” extra-illustrated with 14 vintage mounted albumen photographic prints.
George Bernard Shaw's successor as music critic for The World, Hichens "eventually gave up regular journalism in order to travel abroad and write his books, which had a rapidly increasing public. Edwardian society was alternately shocked, thrilled, intrigued and dissolved in laughter… His greatest success and best-known novel was The Garden of Allah, which he later dramatized. So popular was this romance of passion and conflict in the desert that he wrote from time to time other stories with a similar setting" (DNB). First published in London in 1904. Tauchnitz regularly published copyright editions of English-language works; these editions established the author's rights to the material—an important measure due to the lack of uniform, mutually respected copyright law until the early 20th century. Marlene Dietrich starred in the 1936 film adaptation, one of the earliest Technicolor motion pictures. Apparently issued without illustrations; a previous owner has extra-illustrated this copy with 14 albumen photographs, presumably from his or her own travels to the Middle East. A fifteenth photograph, laid in, bears the inscription on the verso: "This is Batouch. He was usually drunk."
Spines uniformly toned to brown. A fine copy, handsomely bound.