AFLALO, Frederick G. An Idler in the Near East. London, John Milne, 1910.
8vo. Original red cloth, lettered in gilt; pp. xv, 279, plates after photographs by Sebah and Joailler, Bonfils of Beirut, Yermakoff of Tiblissi and the Jerusalem photographer Reynolds, all with captioned tissue guards; wear to cloth, apart from light offsetting from endpapers, internally a very good copy.
First edition of this delightful travel book by a pioneer of sea angling, traveller and travel writer. Aflalo travelled in the Ottoman Empire for one summer season from the Caucasus to Egypt, keenly observing country, society and natural history. In the Lebanon he took the train between Damascus and Beirut, with one wonderful photo of the mountain rail track. The caption to the plate depicting a road outside Beirut compares the scenery 'to the roads round Bournemouth and other resorts in the south of Hampshire' (p. 108). He continues to praise the city, after having complained about the disrepair of the streets, 'yet, with the background of the Lebanon draped in snow, Beyrouth, seen from the grounds of the American College, makes a pleasing picture' (pp. 108 f).