The Holy Cities of Arabia. TWO VOLUMES.

Rutter, Eldon.

Book ID: 2517


8vo. xv, 302 pp., [1] / vii, 287 pp., [1], 2 maps, 4 plans, 2 photo frontispieces with captioned tissue guards, half-titles, publisher’s buckram gilt, slightly damaged by dampness at top margins, title gilt in Arabic on upper cover, upper edges gilt, minor spotting, previous owner’s name inscribed on front fly leaves, the set otherwise is in good condition, G. P. Putnam's Sons, London & New York, first edition, 1928.


“Rutter was a young Englishman who was inspired by the exploits of Burkhardt and Burton to attempt the Hajj. Following service during the First World War, he took employment in the Malay States in order to learn Arabic and continued his studies in Egypt “where he lived as a native until he felt so thoroughly at home in the language and well versed in the rites and traditions of Islam as to be confident of his ability to carry through the pilgrimage as a fully fledged Muhammadan.” (Sir Percy Cox’s Geographical Journal review) Despite the death of his intended travelling companion, and the outbreak of hostilities in the Hejaz, “nothing daunted” Rutter “determined to adhere to his long-cherished plans,” and set out from Suez for Mussawa’, wisely avoiding the usual route via Jeddah. A little over a year later he was back in Egypt. “Thus ended a great enterprise, carried through with consummate pluck and foxily of purpose, and now given to his countrymen in two absorbing volumes which leave nothing to be desired either in literary style or human interest.”

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