GRANT, Christina Phelps. The Syrian Desert. Caravans, Travel and Exploration. London, A. & C. Black, 1937.
8vo. Original brown cloth, spine ornamented and lettered in gilt; pp. xv, 410; maps and plates; cloth a little worn, internally very good.
Very rare first edition of this assessment of travel and communication across the Northern Arabian desert, i.e. the increasingly important connection between the Lebanese coast, Damascus and the Gulf with Kirkuk in the North. 'Only the re-shaping of Powers in the Near and Middle East, and the new era of petrol and planes have caused the Syrian waste to attain a prominence that it never reached before. Practically the whole of this book, with the exception of the last chapter, could have been written before 1914. But it is the subject-matter of this last chapter which creates the main interest, for it records the post-war period which has recalled the Syrian Desert from oblivion, and re-established it as one of the main lines of communication, and indeed the shortest line, between the East and West. Dr. Grant has realized that this dead world was coming back to life, and that the region would figure large in future relationships between Europe and Asia' (review in the Geographical Journal, vol. 90, No. 2, p. 173).
Provenance: A fine Welsh bookplate of John Henry Evans inside front cover.