BAEDEKER, Karl. Egypt and the Sûdân. Handbook for Travellers… Seventh Remodelled Edition. Leipzig, London, and New York: Breitkopf and Härtel for Karl Baedeker, T. Fisher Unwin, and Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1914. 

Octavo (157 x 104mm), pp. cxc, 458. 35 colour-printed maps and plans by Wagner & Debes after G. Schweinfurth, Wagner & Debes, et al., 2 printed recto-and-verso, 8 double-page, 5 folding, and 4 double-page and folding, and 3 wood-engraved maps and plans by Wagner & Debes et al. after W. Sieglin et al.2 printed recto-and-verso and one double-page. Wood-engraved illustrations, diagrams, maps and plans in the text, some full-page or printed in black and red. (A few light marks.) Original flexible red cloth covers, upper cover lettered in gilt, both covers with blind-ruled borders, spine lettered in gilt and ruled in blind, light-yellow endpapers, upper endpapers with publisher’s printed advertisements, lower endpapers with printed currency conversion rates and tables, all edges marbled, 2 silk markers, both faded at ends and slightly frayed. (A few light marks, extremities lightly rubbed, corners slightly bumped.) A very good, fresh copy in the original cloth covers. Provenance: Ryle Edward Charles Morris, December 1921 (1891-1971, pencilled ownership inscription on front free endpaper).

Seventh ‘remodelled’ edition. ‘Ever since the attention of the civilized world was re-directed to Egypt at the beginning of the 19th century, the scientific investigation of its innumerable monuments has pointed with ever-growing certainty to the valley of the Nile as the cradle of history and of human culture. At the same time Egypt, like other Eastern countries, possesses high natural attractions, in the peculiar charms of its Oriental climate, the singularly clear atmosphere, the wonderful colouring and effects of light and shade, the exuberant fertility of the cultivated districts contrasted with the solemn desert, and the manners, customs, and appearance of a most interesting and most diversified population’ (p. [iii]). 

The first English edition of a guide to Egypt by Baedeker appeared in 1878 under the title Egypt-Lower Egypt and was followed by Egypt. Second Part: Upper Egypt in 1892. The fourth English edition of 1898 combined both Upper and Lower Egypt under the title Egypt, and they were treated together in the fifth and sixth English editions of 1902 and 1908 respectively, and the present, seventh edition. The seventh edition (which was first published in German in 1913), was the last edition to appear before World War I and hence the last to be published while Egypt remained part of the Ottoman Empire. The text of the first edition was based on materials provided to Baedeker by eminent Egyptologists – including the celebrated German scholar Georg Ebers (1837-1898) – and the preface records that the present, seventh edition was ‘founded on the combined work of several Egyptologists and other Oriental scholars’ (p. [iii]). 

The first part of the work (spanning nearly 200 pages) provides practical and historical information, divided in nine sections: ‘Preliminary Information’ (travel, finance, language, etc.); ‘Geographical and Political Notes’ (including contributions by the Egyptologist Sir Henry Lyons and the botanist and traveller Georg Schweinfurth); ‘El-Islâm’, written by Carl Heinrich Becker, a pioneer of western studies of Islam; ‘Outline of the History of Egypt’, ‘Hieroglyphics’, ‘Religion of the Ancient Egyptians’, and ‘Historical Notice of Egyptian Art’, all by the German-Jewish Egyptologist Georg Steindorff, who had succeeded Georg Ebers as professor of Egyptology at Liepzig in 1893; ‘Buildings of the Mohommedans’, by the architect and architectural historian Julius Franz Pasha; and ‘Works on Egypt’, a comprehensive bibliography of the sources drawn upon by the authors. The second part of the volume is dedicated to the descriptions of the routes through Egypt, which are extensively illustrated by the detailed maps. 

Hinrichsen E252.


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