The Empty Quarter. Being a Description of The Great South Desert of Arabia Known as Rub’ al-Khali.

Philby, H. St. John Philby.

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Book ID: 987


8vo. xxiv, 433 pp., frontispiece, 2 colour folding maps, 1 colour folding plan, 47 b/w photographic plates by the author, half-title, publisher’s original green cloth, lightly rubbed at spine extremities, appendices, index, scattered foxing, mainly on margins, otherwise copy in good condition, Constable & Co. Ltd, London, first edition, 1933.


Philby made a series of remarkable journeys, of which the greatest was his crossing of the ’empty quarter’ in 1932. On these journeys he travelled by camel and later by car. By day he collected place names, temperatures, compass bearings, barometric pressures, rocks, fossils, flora and fauna, and ancient inscriptions. At night he wrote them up in his diaries, squatting in the sand by lamplight and hiding his work from his suspicious Arab escort” (ODNB).

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