Item #9900021544 TRAVELS IN CENTRAL ASIA; Being the Account of a Journey from Teheran across the Turkoman Desert on the Eastern Shore of the Caspian to Khiva, Bokhara, and Samarcand performed in the year 1863. Arminius VAMBERY.

TRAVELS IN CENTRAL ASIA; Being the Account of a Journey from Teheran across the Turkoman Desert on the Eastern Shore of the Caspian to Khiva, Bokhara, and Samarcand performed in the year 1863

London: John Murray, 1864. twelve plates & folding map. 1st edition. Hardcover. pp. xvii, 443. 8vo. Bound in original gilt decorated green cloth. Gilt vignette on front board and gilt lettering and design to spine. This copy contains all twelve plates, and the coloured folding map of Turkestan, which is creased, a few small (repaired) closed tears. The original spine has recently been professionally re-backed and the hinges reinforced. The boards show wear and soiling, but the contents are very tight and clean. A sturdy copy in very good condition. Item #9900021544

Vambery (1832-1913), an inveterate traveller and philologist, was born in Hungary. He travelled to Constantinople, where he taught French in the house of a minister and, in 1858, published a German-Turkish dictionary. In 1862 he began his trek through central Asia, often travelling in disguise (or, as an 'Efendi' or 'Dervish', as he describes himself in the Preface) in order to enter places forbidden to Westerners, or non-believers. He claimed no geological or astronomical accomplishments, stating that the purpose of his journey was philological; that is, the study of the languages of Central Asia under the conditions, and in the surroundings in which they were actually employed. After publishing this account, he became professor of oriental languages in Budapest, publishing works on Turkish and other Altaic languages, the ethnography of the Turks, the origins of the Magyars, and many other oriental subjects (see Cambridge Bio. Encyc.).

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