one of 100 mimeographed copies
HUNTER, George W. [editor and translator]. Mohammedan "Narratives of the Prophets" Covering the Period from Zacharias to Paul. Turki Text with English Translation. [Tihwafu, Sinkiang: the editor], .
4to. Original stab-sewn Chinese-style wrappers; pp. [iv (i: blank; ii: title; iii-iv: introduction)], [1-4], 5-65, [1 (blank)], parallel Turki and English text mimeographed on the rectos only of concertina-folded sheets; wrappers slightly rubbed and chipped at edges, very light even browning, but a very good copy of a rare and fragile work.
First and only edition, one of 100 copies. The traveller-missionary George Hunter travelled to China in 1889 under the auspices of the China Inland Mission, remaining there (with the exception of one visit to his native Scotland) until his death. During this time he travelled widely throughout China and Central Asia, becoming well-versed in many of the languages of the region. The present work was undertaken in the course of his studies of Turki, and is a translation of a Turki manuscript of the Qissas al-anbiya, which 'contained seventy-one articles dealing with the creation, the lives of the prophets, and ended with an account of the death of Mohammet and incidents regarding his disciples' (M. Cable and F. French George Hunter (London: 1948), p. 58). From this, Hunter 'selected for our translation the New Testament period as we thought this would be the most interesting and useful for our readers' (p. [iii]). Hunter states in his introduction, 'As to the binding and printing it was my desire to see the book in a more presentable form, but being in a very remote part of the earth, and without a printing press, the best we could do was to take 100 copies off a small mimeograph, and use the Chinese style of binding. We ask our readers to bear with us if a little difficult to decipher under the circumstances it is the best we can do' (p. [iv]).
The work was printed on 'coarse paper [which] was made from local material, often from the leaves of the desert iris' (Cable and French, p. 59), and it seems likely that only a small portion of the 100 copies survive, given the fragile nature of the volume and the circumstances of its production and publication. Of those that survive, 14 can be located in institutional libraries (BL, NLS, SOAS, Durham, Oxford, and Cambridge (3), BSB, LOC, Cleveland Public Library, Mount Holyoke College, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Washington), and the work is rare on the market; Anglo-American auction records only record two copies at auction since 1975.
Cordier, Sinica, col. 4272.