7 - 8 April 2004
BURTON, Richard Francis and Charles F. Tyrwhitt DRAKE. Unexplored Syria. Visits to the Libanus, the Tulul El Safà. The Anti-Libanus, the Northern Libanus, and the 'Alãh. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1872.
2 volumes, 8° (229 x150mm). Folding map and 27 plates (11 folding). Original yellow cloth lettered in black on spines and covers, upper and lower covers double-ruled in black, plates bound according to Penzer, (new black endpapers, 1 leaf loose). Provenance: Mrs. Tyrwhitt Drake.
THE RARE FIRST ISSUE OF THE FIRST EDITION, A PRESENTATION COPY FROM THE CO-AUTHOR TO HIS MOTHER, inscribed on Vol. I half-title by Isabel Burton 'To Mrs. Tyrwhitt-Drake with the affectn. love of her Son Charles F.T. Drake & the best regards of Richard & Isabel Burton July 1, 1872.' Isabel seems to have been instrumental in securing the Damascus posting for her husband but there was only 'one really bright spot' in it for him. He met Drake and E.H. Palmer of the Palestine Exploration Fund in 1870 and formed an immediate bond, inviting them on a desert adventure to Baalbek, Palmyra, the Syrian Highlands and Lebanon. It was when Drake returned to Syria in 1871 that he and Burton made this more distant foray and archaeological investigation. Burton 'Secularized' his discoveries in recording and deciphering them, as opposed to Drake and the P.E.F. who 'Denominationalized' theirs. Later, Palmer was robbed and murdered in the Sinai desert in 1882, and Drake, whom the Burtons loved 'like a younger brother' died of fever in Palestine in 1874. The Burtons had entertained Drake for the last time in Trieste 1873 on his journey back to Arabia from which he never returned. Drake's last words had been for his mother, to whom Isabel presented this set for him. Penzer p. 85-88. Casada 68. (2)
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