TRISTRAM, Henry Baker. The Land of Moab. Travels and Discoveries on the East Side of the Dead Sea and the Jordan … With a Chapter on the Persian Palace of Mashita, by Jas. Ferguson. London John Murray, 1873.
8vo. Original brick red cloth, lettered in gilt, ornamented in black and gilt; pp. xvi, 408; wood-engraved illustrations including some full-page plates, one folding colour-lithographic map; rubbing to extremities, front inner hinge strengthened, else a very good copy.
First edition, very rare. Tristram was a naturalist and geologist who had travelled in the Maghreb for health reasons and was thus well-prepared to study the the Levant. Against the advice of the Palestine Exploration Fund he put together an expedition to explore the land east of the Dead Sea. On this long journey Tristram examines the natural history, minerals and history with scientific scrutiny. For the first time he examines the impressive remains of the large Umayyad winter palace, or Desert Castle, of Mashita (Qasr Al-Mshatta). Thorogh, but accessible, 'Tristram's scientific competence and easy style made his writings both valuable and popular' (ODNB).