BURTON, Richard. The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû el-Yezdî. A Lay of the Higher Law … With a Foreword by Roger Ingpen. London, Hutchinson, 1914.
Small 8vo. Original printed stiff card wrappers; pp. xvi, , 110, , portrait frontispiece in sepia with tissue guard, two facsimiles in the text; very light toning and spotting to wrappers, a little offsetting from endpapers, ownership inscriptions to front fly-leaf; a very good copy, printed on Van Geldern laid paper and uncut.
First published by Bernard Quaritch in 1880 this is the first and uncommon Hutchinson printing. Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) was a renowned British explorer, linguist, soldier, diplomat, and translator who is principally known for his travels and explorations in Asia, the Americas, and Africa; being the first European to see Lake Tanganyika when accompanying John Hanning Speke on his journey to the Great Lakes, in 1857/8, in search of the source of the Nile. His academic studies gave him a wide knowledge of foreign languages and cultures and he completed the first unexpurgated translation of The Book of The Thousand Nights and a Night (1885) as well as bringing the text of the Kama Sutra to the English reading public, in 1883.
At the same period Burton offered what purported to be a translation of the long poem The KasÎdah of HâjÎ Abdû El-YezdÎ. Burton claimed to have received the manuscript from his friend, the Persian poet and author, but a counter claim by the Sufi writer Idries Shah asserts that the story is a fabrication by Burton, whose intention was to project Sufi teaching in the West: "In Sufism he finds a system of application to misguided faiths 'which will prove them all right, and all wrong; which will reconcile their differences; will unite past creeds; will account for the present and will anticipate the future with a continuous and uninterrupted development.'"