GUYS, Henri. Théogonie des Druses ou Abrégé de leur Système Religieux. Traduit de l'Arabe. Paris, Imprimérie Impériale, 1863.
8vo. Entirely uncut in the original printed wrappers (these unfortunately laminated, a little spotted and with minor marginal fraying); pp. xxxii, 141, Arabic printing in the text; mainly marginal light brown-spotting, a good and complete copy.
Very rare first edition of this edition of the secret and sacred writings of the Druze, collected, translated and prefaced by a French Consul in Turkey and Syria, who resided at Beirut for fourteen years collecting the necessary information about the - for the West - mysterious Druze sect. This work discusses Druze beliefs and philosophy. Guys was also Aleppo’s consul from 1838-1847 until his retirement and wrote several other works discussing the political development of Syria under Ottoman rule, and the activities of Catholic missions in the Holy Land. Guys' subject had become more to the forefront of the public interest, as news of the Druze-Maronite conflict spread. It had begun in the north of Mount Lebanon, quickly moved to Damascus and ended there with a massacre of Christians.
The book was and is so rare that throughout the 20th century it was reprinted about three times; not in Atabey or Blackmer. COPAC locates a single copy of this first edition, in the British Library.
Provenance: The Israeli collector Asher Stern's bookplate inside front cover.