DOUGHTY, Charles Montagu (1843-1926). Travels in Arabia Deserta. Cambridge: University Press, 1888. 2 volumes, 8° (224 x 140mm). With half-titles, and advertisements dated 19 December 1887. 8 plates, some folding, illustrations, folding coloured lithographic map by Doughty, mounted on linen, in rear pocket of volume I. (Occasional light spotting.) Uncut in original green pictorial cloth, upper sides illustrated in gilt, spines lettered in gilt, black coated endpapers (spine heads chipped, front hinge of volume 1 starting). Provenance: Edward Hilton Young, 1st Baron Kennet (1879-1960, politician and writer; bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF DOUGHTY'S GREAT CLASSIC ON ARABIA. ‘In its authenticity, originality, and power, Doughty's English–Arabic style rivals the work of other Victorian prose masters such as Carlyle, Ruskin, and Pater. Poet Robert Bridges quickly recognized Arabia Deserta's uniqueness, and it was one of William Morris's favourite books toward the end of his life. W.B. Yeats, who read the work three times, may have based his desert poetry, including ‘The second coming’, on it. T.S. Eliot disliked Doughty's poetry, but found Arabia Deserta a “great work” (Eliot, 58). D.H. Lawrence, Leonard Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Herbert Read, Wyndham Lewis, Edwin Muir, Henry Green, Rex Warner, V.S. Pritchett, and the American writer Walker Percy were among the other literary admirers of Doughty's masterpiece’ (ODNB).