A Description of The East and Some other Countries. THREE PARTS IN TWO VOLUMES.

Pococke, Richard. 1704-1765.

Book ID: 27567


Folio. Volume I: Observations on Egypt: vi, [8], 310 pp., 75 engraved plates of which some folding/ Volume II Part I: Observations on Palestine or the Holy Land, Syria, Mesopotamia, Cyprus and Cadia: xi, 268 pp., 36 engraved plates of which some folding / Volume II Part II: Observations on the Islands of the archipelago, Asia Minor, Thrace, Greece, and some other parts of Europe: vii, 308 pp., 67 engraved plates of which some folding; title pages vignettes, engraved dedications after Gravelot, (total of 179 plates and maps), fine copy in modern half-calf, title gilt on raised spine consisting of seven compartments, small worm hole on lower edge of the first few pages in Volume I, not affecting text, two book plates of previous owners, Printed for the Author, by W. Bowyer, and sold by J. and P. Knapton, London, 1743-1745.


First edition. An attractive set, tall and fine, of Pococke’s description of the journey he undertook to the East between 1737 and 1740.
Richard Pococke studied at Christi College, University of Oxford and was appointed to the preceptorship of the Lismore Cathedral. Between 1733 and 1736 he toured Europe and planned afterwards to visit the East. He reached Alexandria at the end of September 1737 and traveled south into Upper Egypt, passing the traveller Frederick Lewis Norden in the night as he was returning and Nordon was going up the Nile. From Cairo Pococke went to Jerusalem and Northern Palestine where he explored Baalbeck. He remained three years in the Eastern Mediterranean, visiting Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Asia Minor and Greece. He also spent some time in Germany and Switzerland in 1741 before returning to England in 1742. A year later he published the first part of his “Description on Egypt”, and in 1745 the second part of the remainder of the journey.
The work was translated into German and published in 3 volumes in Erlangen in 1754-5; a French edition appeared in Paris in 1772-3 (6 Vols.) and a Dutch edition (6 Vols.) appeared in 1776-86 in Utrecht.
The plates of antiquities are after drawings made by Pococke; however, the illustrations of the monuments of Athens were not drawn on the spot. Pococke achieved great reputation with this publication; the work was very popular during his lifetime and was praised by Gibbon. Pococke also published a catalogue of his numismatic finds in Egypt: Inscriptionum Antiquarum, 1752.
Bibliographic references: Blackmer 1323; Brunet IV, 750; Weber 513; Tobler pp. 127-8; Hilmy II 124; Atabey 958.

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