Travels in the Oasis of Thebes, and in the Deserts Situated East and West of the Thebaid; In the Years 1815, 16, 17, and 18.

Author: Cailliaud, Frédéric
Year: 1822
Edition: First thus
Publisher: London, Richard Phillips
Category: Egypt


8vo, pp. xii, 72. With 16 plates, of which 1 folding, in aquatint and 1 map (of 2). Rebound in recent half brown cloth over marbled boards with gilt rulers and title.

Minor edgewear, some offsetting from the map to the text, no offsetting from the plates. Map of the deserts between the Nile and the Red Sea missing. Minor foxing on some of the plates. Plate nr. 1 bound in at the wrong place. Overall a nice and clean copy.

An important work on North East Africa, edited by M. Jomard *) and published one year after the original French edition, to become (as intended) a part of Phillips` New Voyages and Travels. First and only English edition.

The plates show sites like Douch El Qualah, El Gabouet, etc. The very nice folding plate shows the ruins of Kharga Oasis.

Cailliaud’s description and plates derive their importance from the fact that most of these sites already were demolished by the end of the first half of the 19th century, so that later explorers had no chance any more to see them with their own eyes.

Frédéric Cailliaud was born in Nantes, June 9th 1787 and died there May 1st 1869. Till his death he held the position of curator of the Museum of Natural History in this city.

In 1821 and 1822 he joined an English army officer on his tour of conquest under Ibrahim Pasha to the south, after which he published his most important work: Voyage à Meroe, au Fleuve Blanc, au-delà de Fazoql dans le Midi du Royaume de Sennar, à Syouah et dans cinq autres Oasis.

The basis of this work was laid during the period 1815-1818 when he travelled extensively around Thebes, as far South as Nubia, this in the company of Bernardino Drovetti.

 Drovetti's only publication: 'Itinerary of an Excursion to the Valley of Dakel' is included in the last section of this book. M. Drovetti guarded the French interests in Egypt. He first served as the assistant consul general and then as the consul general. During the long period (1803 - 1826) he lived in Egypt, Drovetti was a talented diplomat. With both England and France struggling for power in this region, he directed the Egyptian ruler Mehemed Ali, viceroy and governor of Egypt, towards an anti British and pro French policy. He became a noted Egyptologist and was among the first Europeans to explore Abu Simbel. His major discoveries are papyrus treasures including the Turin Royal Canon (king list), the Judicial Papyrus, plan of the tomb of Ramesses IV, map of the goldmines and the intact tomb and funerary equipment of General Djehuty, who served until Tuthmosis III.

*) Edme-François Jomard is one of the founders of the Société de Géographie de Paris (1821) and set up the 'Département des cartes et plans' in 1828. Amongst others he was the editor of this book, as well as of some other books by French explorers. He was a member of the 1798 expedition to Egypt and drew up the map of this country on 47 sheets. He is one of the most eminent French geographers of the 19th century.

Click on a picture to enlarge.