ABBOTT, Captain James. Narrative of a Journey from Heraut to Khiva, Moscow and St. Petersburgh, during the late Russian Invasion of Khiva; with some Account of the Court of Khiva and the Kingdom of Khaurism. London, W.H. Allen & Co., 1843.
8vo. 2 volumes. Original publisher's grey cloth, spine lettered in gilt, boards ornamented in blind; pp. , xix, 401; x, 299, ciii, lithographic frontispiece and large folding engraved map; apart from light spotting internally here and there a very good copy; provenance: early gilt-stamped bookplates by Alexander Mc Grigor inside front covers, two later ownership inscriptions on opposite fly-leaves.
First edition. An account of the author's journey in 1839-40, disguised as an Afghan. Captain Abbott infiltrated the court of Khiva in an attempt to convince the khan to free Russian slaves held in the territory. Although his mission ulitmately failed - his cover was blown, he was betrayed by his guide and robbed by bandits - his story is stirringly told and evocatively describes both the locations and people involved.
Provenance: Alexander Bennett McGrigor of Cairnoch (1827-1891) was a lawyer, co-owner of a big Glasgow law firm and book collector.
Yakushi (3rd ed.) A57.