BLUNT, Lady Anne. A Pilgrimage to Nejd, the Cradle of the Arab Race. A Visit to the Court of the Arab Emir, and our "Persian Campaign". London, Murray,1881.
Two volumes in one, 8vo. Contemporary school-prize binding of red calf over cloth-covered boards, spines with raised bands, ornamented and lettered in gilt, all edges marbled, marbled endpapers; pp. xxxi, , 273; xii, 283, large colour-printed folding map, 14 plates, illustrations in the text; binding a bit faded, a little wear to heads and tails of spines; repair to map; internally very clean and fresh; provenance: Ratcliffe College; award bookplate to William Joseph Gabriel Doyle, an Irish Catholic priest killed in action in 1917.
Very rare first edition. Lady Anne Blunt, grand-daughter of Byron, daughter of Ada Lovelace, together with her wealthy husband began travelling in the Middle East in 1878, before settling at an estate outside Cairo in 1882. Accompanied by a descendant of an ancient family of Nejd which had fled to Syria 100 years earlier, the Blunts crossed and explored the great Nejd desert. They met the Emir, Muhammed ibn Rashid, who received them courteously, having recently knifed his nephew and cut off the feet of his cousins, leaving them to bleed to death. 'With Blunt she travelled extensively in the Middle East: her scientific interests are manifest in the mass of aneroid readings, barometric pressures, and compass bearings in her journal entries of their travels in the Arabian deserts. There she found happiness, and her numerous journals give a fascinating account of their experiences. Written simply as a private daily record, they provide frank insights into every aspect of her life, including her views on the political events in which her husband was involved. They also reveal a woman of remarkable courage and endurance. She converted to Roman Catholicism as a result of a vision experienced when Blunt lay seriously ill in a remote spot during a journey in 1879. She was one of very few women of her time to travel into the heart of the desert. The Blunts undertook three long journeys, on horseback, taking only a few Arab servants with camels. Her artistic talent is evident in her sketches: whether of desert scenes, Arabs and their animals, town dwellings, or ruined forts, they were executed meticulously' (ODNB).
Ghani p. 43.