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Savary’s literary letters on Egypt, in attractive contemporary binding

SAVARY, (Nicolas) Claude Étienne.
Brieven over Egypte.
Amsterdam, Martinus de Bruyn, 1788-1789. 3 volumes. 8vo. With 4 numbered engraved folding plates, including maps of Egypt and northern Egypt, a plan of Alexandria, and a cross-section of the Great pyramid. Contemporary mottled calf, richly gold-tooled spines and binding edges.
€ 2,500
Surprisingly rare first and only edition of the Dutch translation of a collection of literary letters published after Savary's travels in Egypt (1777/79). Claude Étienne Savary (1750-1788) was a French Arabic scholar and traveller, known for his translation of the Quran and his posthumously published Arabic grammar. The letters provide, in a polished literary style, a broad overview of the country, treating its rich history, (historical) inhabitants, agriculture, trade, politics, religion, etc. The first two volumes detail his travels, while the third is pure didactic and treats Egyptian mythology, etc. "Savary was the first Frenchman to cite Arabic texts in a work of this nature, and indeed his knowledge of Arabic served him well in his travels at a time when there were many difficulties for the European explorer in Egypt" (Blackmer)
Only the flyleaves and title-pages are slightly foxed, otherwise in very good condition, nearly untrimmed. Bindings only slightly rubbed along the hinges, otherwise very good and attractive bindings.
STCN (2 copies); WorldCat (4 copies, incl. 2 the same); cf. Blackmer 1492/977; Gay 1622; Howgego, to 1800, S53.
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Related Subjects:

Africa  >  Cartography & Exploration | North Africa & Egypt
Book history, education, learning & printing  >  Bindings
Cartography & exploration  >  Africa | Voyages & Travel
Literature & linguistics  >  English, French & German Literature
Middle east & islamic world  >  Africa | Islamic Art & Culture