ALLEN, William Edward David. A History of the Georgian People. From the Beginning down to the Russian Conquest in the Nineteenth Century. Introduction by Sir Denison Ross. London, Kegan Paul, 1932.
Large 8vo. Original cloth with dust-wrapper (retaining price of 31 s. 6d.), pp. xxiv, 429, plates after photographs, illustrations after drawings in the text , two sketch maps, three fold-out maps at rear; apart from minor darkening to cloth and a few abrasures to wrappers, a very good copy with the contemporary pictorial bookplate of Dr. M. W. Pickard, a Kansas City surgeon and collector of books on Russia; later in the collection of the eminent historian of Russia, collector and writer Philip Longworth.
Uncommon first edition of on of the first substantial books on the history of Georgia. William Allen (1901-1973) was a businessman, historian and explorer. He played an important role in the family business, David Allen and Sons, a printing firm which specialised in theatrical advertising, and wrote David Allens: the History of a Family Firm, 1857–1957 (1957). He wrote a great number of books, starting, when he was only eighteen, with The Turk in Europe (1919). In the 1920s he was a special correspondent for the Morning Post during the Greco-Turkish and Riff wars. Furthermore, he travelled extensively in Constantinople, around the Black Sea, and around Africa. He also accumulated a large collection of icons, some of which were later acquired by the National Gallery of Ireland. He became a close associate of Sir Oswald Mosley, and was Ulster Unionist MP for West Belfast. In 1932 he produced A History of the Georgian People, before leaving for Africa and the Middle East in 1939, where he spent the best part of ten years. During this period he distinguished himself as a captain with Orde Wingate's Military Mission to Abyssinia, serving alongside Wilfred Thesiger. He included many of his experiences in his book Guerrilla War in Abyssinia (1943). In retirement he continued to write prolifically, producing Caucasian Battlefields (1953) with Pavel Murator and David Allens (1957). His final historical work was an edition of the records of the Russian embassies to the Georgian kings between 1589 and 1605, which was published in 1970 by the Hakylut Society, three years before his death.