London, South Kensington
7 June 2005
GRAHAM, R. B. Cunninghame (1852-1936). Mogreb-el-Acksa: A Journey in Morocco. London: William Heinemann, 1898. 8°, frontispiece portrait, map of southern portion of Morocco. Original cloth (spine faded, covers a little discoloured, inner hinges split). ASSOCIATION COPY INSCRIBED BY JOSEPH CONRAD TO ELSIE HUEFFER. The 11-line inscription, neatly written in ink on the front free endpaper, makes wry reference to his collaboration with her husband, which had begun just two months before:
"To Mrs Elsie Ford M. Hueffer. In the intervals of concocting, with your husband, circumstantial untruths for sale we looked into this truthful book. And as a proof that even when engaged in the most engrossing occupation man can find in this world you were not far from our thoughts we remarked that most likely you would like it. And as the book is mine (honestly come by) I pray you accept this copy from your most humble obedient servant Joseph Conrad. 3rd Decer 1898."
FIRST EDITION. Cunninghame Graham was among the contributors to the first issue of Ford's The English Review. Of Spanish and Scottish stock, he was an outspoken opponent of British imperialism and an enthusiastic traveller and horseman (the frontispiece photograph of Mogreb-el-Acksa shows him mounted and dressed in the clothes of a sheikh). This book recounts his attempt to reach the forbidden city of Tarudant in Morocco and was greatly admired by Conrad as well as by George Bernard Shaw, who took it as the inspiration for his play, Captain Brassbound's Conversion.
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