RICH, Claudius James. Narrative of a Residence in Koordistan, And On The Site Of Ancient Nineveh; With Journal Of A Voyage down the Tigris to Bagdad and an Account of a Visit to Shirauz and Persepolis. London, James Duncan, 1836.
Two volumes, 8vo. Original publisher's cloth with printed labels to spine; pp. 8, (pulisher's catalogue, dated April, 1936), xxxiii, 398; viii, 410, , two folding maps one plan and 10 lithographic plates (3 double-page); a little wear to extremities and spine labels, inner hinges re-inforced; folding maps with repairs to marginal tears; spotting in places, evenly a little toned; a good set, contemporary Cork bookseller's label inside fron cover.
The scarce first edition of an important and early travelogue of Kurdistan, parts of modern Iraq and Iran, rarely seen in the publisher's binding. Rich was a talented linguist who travelled widely in Asia Minor. Posted to Egypt during the early part of his career, he travelled from there, in Mamaluk disguise, to Syria, Palestine, Damascus, Baghdad and Basra. In 1810 he was appointed the East India Company's resident in Baghdad. Of the numerous books and papers published by Rich, Narrative of a Residence in Koordistan is the most important. Based on a tour undertaken in 1820, it provides a detailed geographical and archaeological account of the region. Rich's valuable collection of Oriental manuscripts and antiquities are now held in the British Museum. 'In 1813 ill health compelled Rich to go to Constantinople with his wife, and in 1814 he prolonged his journey through the Balkans to Vienna, and thence to Paris, then in the hands of the allies. On his return through Asia Minor and Mesopotamia to Baghdad, he resumed his studies and collections, made his second visit to Babylon, and in 1820, being again in bad health, travelled in Kurdistan. This tour was described in his most important work, Narrative of a Residence in Koordistan, published posthumously in two volumes in 1836. The work long remained valuable, as the first nineteenth-century geographical and archaeological account of the region and also as an interesting narrative of travel. It was reissued in 1984 in recognition of its continuing value … He died on 5 October 1821 and was buried in the Jan Numa at Shiraz, in which he was living at the time of his death. His remains were exhumed and reinterred in the Armenian cathedral of Jolfa in Esfahan in 1826. (ODNB).