THOMSON, William McClure. The Land and the Book. Biblical Illustrations Drawn from the Manners and Customs, the Scenes and Scenery, of the Holy Land. Southern Palestine and Jerusalem [Central Palestine and Phoenicia. Lebanon, Damascus and beyond Jordan] ... Popular Edition. New York, Harper & Brothers, [1880-86].
Three volumes, 8vo. Original brick-red cloth, boards and spine blocked in gold; pp. xx, 592; xxiv, 689; xxxiv, 711, 6 [publisher's catalogue], each volume with wood-engraved frontispiece, 3 maps (2 folding, one double-page), wood-engraved plates and illustrations in the text; cloth a bit darkened in places, otherwise very good, a very heavy set; provenance: gift inscriptions to, and bookplates of, Augusta Valeda Johnson.
Largest, much expanded, best and rarest edition. Thomson (1806-1894) was educated at Miami University and Princeton Theological Seminary. In 1832 he sailed for Syria, arriving in Beirut in 1833 and travelling to Jerusalem the following year, from where, after his imprisonment and his wife's death, he returned to Syria later in the year, subsequently travelling widely throughout the area. He remarried and lived in Beirut until 1876, updating and enlarging his original 1859 book, which was an immense success and went through many editions for half a century. This edition of The Land and the Book contains one of the best first-hand accounts of life in Lebanon written in the 19th century.