ROMER, Mrs [Isabella Frances]. A Pilgrimage To The Temples and Tombs of Egypt, Nubia, and Palestine, in 1845-6. London, Richard Bentley, 1846.
Two volumes, 8vo. Original publisher's cloth, spines lettered in gilt, front covers with sphinx in gilt, ornamented in blind; pp. xiv, , 375; viii, , 390; two lithographic frontispieces with tissue guards (one in colour, one tinted), three tinted lithographic plates, a few wood-engravings in the text; cloth a little marked and with expert restorations, the tinted plates with traces of humidity, otherwise a clean copy with the contemporary ownership inscription of the Earl of Howth to the first half-title.
First edition of this travelogue of Isabella Frances Romer's leisurely journey through Egypt and adjacent countries. She was a London-born novelist, travel writer and biographer. This lively and entertainingly written book is full of immediacy of encounters and first-hand impressions, such as her entry of February 11 in Cairo, 1846. 'Yesterday I achieved a rash undertaking, - no less a one than going into the mosques El Azhar and Hhassaneyn, both of them so sacred to the Moslems that Christans are forbidden to enter them under pain of death; and until within the last few years, were not even suffered to pass before them without incurring the same penalty. There was only one way of obtaining admission, and that was by putting on the Mahometan dress, and passing myself off as an Egyptian woman … ' (volume II, p. 117). She was a good observer and precise narrator of social behaviour, street scenes and architecture. Her description of Egypt covers all of volume one and more than the first one hundred pages of the second volume before Mrs Romer sets off for Lebanon, where she describes Druze and Maronite communities. After visiting the Holy Land she returns to Lebanon, visiting the Anti Lebanon and Beirut.