NIEBUHR, Carsten. Travels through Arabia, and other Countries in the East, performed by M. Niebuhr, ... Translated into English by Robert Heron. With notes by the Translator; and illustrated with Engravings and Maps. Edinburgh, printed for R. Morison and Son, Perth, G. Mudie, Edinburgh; and T. Vernor, London, 1792.
Two volumes 8vo. Modern full brown calf, spine lettered in gilt and with gilt-stamped lettering-pieces; pp. [iii]-xx, -454, [2, errata]; [iii]-xii, 439, ten engraved plates and two (of three) engraved maps; light even browning or spotting, one large map with a few repaired tears, a good set, bound without half-titles.
Rare first edition in English of any of Niebuhr's travels in the Middle East, abridged and adapted by the translator for the "public in general", the first volume from Reisebeschreibung nach Arabien und andern umliegenden Ländern (1774) and volume two from Niebuhr's Beschreibung von Arabien (1772). This set unites the results of the first scientific Western exploration of Arabia and surroundings, with the first accurate mapping of Yemen, which set the standard for the next 200 years. With altogether 150 engraved illustrations, several of which folding, the most splendig work of the period on the region. The German-born Carsten Niebuhr was appointed in 1760 as surveyor to accompany the Danish scientific mission to Arabia. Since Niebuhr was the only European to survive from the expedition, the present work constitutes the sole primary source for its achievements. Niebuhr's works led to a greater knowledge of the area's geography. His portrayal of the Arabs as a noble people, rather than as the marauding bandits they had previously been thought to be, contributed to a rehabilitation of Arabist studies. By emphasising Arab ideas of hospitality and liberty, he also whetted the appetites of more romantic travellers. 'A justly famous and popular work. ... his accounts are probably the best and most authentic of that day …' (Cox, volume I, p. 237).
ESTC T51605; not in Atabey or Blackmer.