The Assyrians and their Neighbours

WIGRAM, W. A. The Assyrians and their Neighbours.

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WIGRAM, W. A. The Assyrians and their Neighbours. London, Bell, 1929.

8vo. Original cloth with dust-wrappers printed in red and blue; pp. xvi, 247, plates after photographs and drawings, folding map, apart from light toning to dust-wrapper and endpapers, fine, with the rarely seen dust-wrapper.
First editionof a work on the Assyrians through the ages with much focus on the Ottoman rule and their living conditions in the early 20th century, when an Assyrian state was suggested. William Ainger Wigram (1872-1953) is called by ODNB 'advocate of the Assyrian church and people'. Wigram had lived as missionary amongst Assyrian, or Nestorian Christians, first in Van then in Bibaydi in the mountains north of Mosul. 'In 1918 he was intercepted on his way home [from Constantinople] and posted to Mesopotamia as a political officer to help manage the resettlement of the displaced Assyrian people in their old lands. The resettlement failed, however, as did all efforts to re-start the archbishop's mission … Wigram visited Iraq again in 1928. His conviction that the British government owed the Assyrians a settlement as an autonomous people (expressed in a number of occasional writings, although toned down for his book The Assyrians and their Neighbours, 1929) made him unwelcome to the authorities there. After the end of the British mandate in 1932, the treatment of the Assyrians by the new Iraqi government confirmed his belief that Britain had betrayed them. Wigram accompanied the young patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun to Geneva to plead his cause before the League of Nations in 1933.' (ODNB).