BARTLETT, W.H. The Nile Boat; or, Glimpses of the Land of Egypt. London, Arthur Hall, Virtue, & Co., 1850.
8vo. Near-contemporary red half-moroco over marbled boards, spine with raised bands, decorated and lettered in gilt. Marbled edges and endpapers; pp. vi, , 218; 33 steel-engraved plates (including frontispiece and additional engraved title), single-page engraved map, folding panorama of Alexandria, wood-engravings to text; wear to extremities but binding very firm and sturdy, covers a bit darkened in places, frontispiece with foxing, the plates less so (as usual), otherwise clean; gift inscription, dated 1851, to initial blank.
First edition. The engraver Bartlett visited Egypt in 1842 and again in 1845; the present volume is an account based on the second visit. The Nile Boat proved extremely popular, largely due to its well-executed illustrations; it had gone through five editions by 1862. Bartlett was not only one of the foremost topographical artists of the miod-Victorian era, but as well a very good narrator of his travels with good observation of details and a sense of humor. Initially he had worked for topographical writers and travel writers. But as 'by the mid-1840s demand for travel book illustrations slackened … Bartlett turned to writing his own books, illustrated with steel-engravings and woodcuts prepared from his drawings. Walks about the City and Environs of Jerusalem (1844) was followed by Forty Days in the Desert on the Track of the Israelites (1848) and The Nile Boat (1849)' (ODNB).
Blackmer 89 (this edition only).