ALLEN, William Edward David. New Political Boundaries in the Caucasus, and The Marsh-Lands of Georgia, and and The Caucasian Borderland. in The Geographical Journal. London: The Royal Geographical Society, May 1927, August 1929, & May-June 1942. Vols LXIX, 5, LXXIV, 2 & XCIX, 5, 6.
8vo (245 x 155mm), 3 issues. Original printed wrappers; 29 half-tone illustrations; two colour-printed maps bound to fold clear; one folding half-tone illustration; slightly chipped at the spine ends; some pages unopened; otherwise very good and internally clean copies; provenance: Department of Geography, University of Liverpool (inkstamps to upper wrappers of May 1927 & August 1929 issues).
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.
The first of these papers from The Geographical Journal outlines the recent history of the Caucasus and the Transcaucasian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic. Furthermore it lists the new boundaries of the Transcaucasian Republics, also marked out on a colour-printed map which accompanies the article. The second article is on 'The Marsh-Lands of Georgia' and is sub-divided into six sections on the trunk roads to Asia, Samtzkhe, its Marshlands and history, Lazistan, the Chorokh, and the sources of the Kura river. The final paper concerns the history and ethnology of the region, also describing the Kurds, Armenians, Georgians, Ossetes, the Turks of Azerbaijan, and the Caucasian racial elements found in the Middle East