Palestine Exploration Fund. / ANNUAL / 1914-1915. Double Volume. THE WILDERNESS OF ZIN (Archaeological Report.)
London, 1st edition, hb. Bound in original printed paper over boards with cloth spine. 4to, pp. xvi, 158. Published by Order of the Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
¶ The Introduction (p. 14) to the first American trade edition of this title gives an interesting, if misleading, explanation of the history and importance of this work: "THE WILDERNESS OF ZIN was first published as 'the Annual of the Palestine Exploration Fund for 1914-1915'. In view, however, of the subsequent careers of its two authors, and of the literary merit which adds charm to the description of a country of no little biblical and historical interest, it seems to deserve a wider publicity than the proceedings of a learned society." This is a bit of a canard, as it is now known that the entire venture of Wooley and Lawrence was a front for a British Army survey of the Negev region of the Sinai Peninsula (then under Turkish suzerainty), as the British needed updated maps in anticipation of the war. Lawrence himself described the original publication of the Report as "whitewash". This is the first of Lawrence's works to appear in book form (O'Brien A004) and was published in 1915. Our copy is in the second issue binding without the full stop after the spine date. The first trade edition was in 1936 (O'Brien AOO6 and AOO7). The folding plan, all plates, and the maps have been collated and are present. The boards are quite rubbed at the bottom right edge, with loss of paper covering. There are a few nicks to the board edges, and some light general soiling. The binding (which, as produced, is of poor quality) is slightly sprung, but nothing is loose. Internally clean and bright. Overall, a good plus copy of a very scarce and important title. Not in Clements. Duval .
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Book number: 034435
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Keywords: Sinai Peninsula Negev desert Arabia Lawrence of Arabia Arabs T. E. Lawrence