DUSE MOHAMED [known as; originally Duse Mohamed ALI]. In the Land of the Pharaohs. London, Stanley Paul, .
8vo. Original illustrated cloth; pp. xii, 380, portrait frontispiece with tissue guard, plates after photographs; cloth a little darkened and spotted, occasional spotting internally; bookplate with text in Arabic of John Ralph Willis inside front cover; gift inscription on opposite fly-leaf.
First edition of probably the first book in English on Egypt by an Egyptian. Duse Mohamed had a Sudanese mother and an Egyptian father who had been killed in 1882 at Tell al-Kebir fighting the British. Duse Mohamed went to England to study medicine but ended up as a stage actor and journalist on both sides of the Atlantic. He was an anti-colonial campaigner and collaborated with Marcus Garvey, before settling in Nigeria were he founded the most successful Nigerian weekly periodical of the time. 'In 1911 he published the Land of the Pharaohs, described accurately by the New York Times as 'a fervent document in favour of the Egyptian nationalist movement and the ultimate freedom of Egypt, at least from the British yoke, and a most scathing denunciation of British rule in Egypt' (New York Times, 8 Oct 1911). The book became famous not only for its politics, but because Ali was accused of plagiarism of some passages from the writings of Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. It was nevertheless a huge success with Africans and the African diaspora' (ODNB).
Provenance: John Ralph Willis (1939-2007) was an eminent Afro-American Muslim Historian, teaching and researching at Princeton.