4to (251 x 186mm), pp. [2 (half-title, verso blank)], 166; 40 collotype plates, one folding plan, one map after B.V. Darbishire, 5 full-page maps and plans in the text, and illustrations in the text, some full-page; some light browning on the index; original red-brown buckram by A.W. Bain & Co., Ltd., lettered in gilt on the upper board, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, top edges stained red, lower edges untrimmed; extremities lightly rubbed, spine slightly darkened and marked, short split on upper joint, nonetheless a very good, clean copy; provenance: Kings Inn Library, Dublin, 29 April 1936 (inkstamp on verso of title).
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Second English edition. The Wilderness of Zin originally appeared as the Palestine Exploration Fund Annual for 1914-1915, and was the first work by Lawrence to appear in book form. However, it was included in the P.E.F. series on somewhat disingenuous grounds: ‘During January and February 1914, Lawrence and Woolley, in the company of a British Army surveying detachment led by Capt. Newcombe, under the guise of an archeological survey, mapped out the Negev region of the Sinai Peninsula, then under Turkish suzerainty. The British sought updated maps for the war they felt was coming. To complete the fiction of the archeological work, Woolley and Lawrence wrote The Wilderness of Zin’ (O’Brien). As Lawrence wrote, ‘K[itchener]. (the only begetter of the survey) insisted on the Palestine Exploration Fund’s bringing out its record of our archeological researching, p.d.q. as whitewash. Woolley and I had instructions to get it done instanter’ (loc. cit.), and the work bears the ironic dedication, ‘To Captain S.F. Newcombe, R.E. Who showed them “the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do”’ (p. ). Since both Woolley and Lawrence were posted to Egypt in 1914, the volume was seen through the press by D.G. Hogarth.
Cape re-published the work the year after Lawrence’s death in this edition, which contains three additional photographs and a new introduction by Sir Frederick Kenyon (pp. 11-14).
O’Brien A006 (noting a variant issue with the plates bound before the text, rather than after, as here).
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