BURTON, Richard Francis, Sir (1821-1890). Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah. London: Longman, Brown, et al, 1855-56.
3 volumes, 8vo. Folding map, 13 plates (5 chromolithograph, 8 tinted lithographs), 3 plans (2 folding). (Lacking advertisements in Vol. I, half-title in Vol. III, and errata, as often, text leaves washed.) Late 19th-century half brown calf, marbled boards, marbled edges (neatly rebacked, some light wear). Provenance: Smith Harrison (armorial bookplate); unidentified signatures (Neva Gay?).
FIRST EDITION OF "ONE OF THE GREATEST WORKS OF TRAVEL EVER PUBLISHED" (Penzer). Traveling disguised as an Afghan Pathan, Burton was the first English Christian to enter Mecca, and the first European to travel between the Holy Cities via the eastern route. He originally intended to cross the peninsula from either El-Medinah to Muscat or from Mecca to Makallah, but he changed course for Mecca, reaching Medina in July 1853, where he remained for a month. The Holy City had such an effect on Burton that he formed “The Hadjilik, or Pilgrimage to Mecca, Syndicate, Limited” on his return to London to enable pilgrims to reach Mecca more easily. Abbey, Travel 368; Penzer, pp 49-50.