London: John Constable, 1912. First Edition. Hardcover. Scarce First Printing of this clandestine tour of the Near East. Demy 8vo (213 x 138mm): viii,,349,pp, with seven plates from photographs (one a map) and large folding map of Arabia in black and blue inserted at rear. Publisher's Prussian blue cloth stamped in gilt. End papers renewed, map with expertly repaired tear and several place names neatly underlined in red crayon, else an excellent example, tightly bound and clean throughout. Fine-. Item #BB2303
In Wavell's day, few Christians had visited Mecca, and fewer still Medina. At age twenty-six, in 1908, he traveled in disguise via Beirut and Damascus, reaching Medina by the Hedjaz railway. After some weeks' stay, he traveled secretly to Sanaa, where he witnessed the siege of January to March, 1911, when the Yemenis sought to drive out the Turks. He describes tensions between the non-Turkish population of the Ottoman Empire and their rulers, who tried to "Turkeycise" their subjects. His two companions were an Arab from Aleppo and a Mombassa Swahili. To avoid detection, Wavell told Arabs that his language was Swahili (he was fluent), and when he met natives of East Africa, said he spoke only Arabic. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).