Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2008 Issue

Travel from Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books

Lynch

William Francis Lynch led the American expedition to the Dead Sea.


Here is the unofficial report of a mostly forgotten U.S. mission of a century and a half ago: Narrative of the United States' expedition to the river Jordan and the Dead Sea. It was written and published in 1849 (the official report came out three years later) by the expedition's leader, naval officer William Francis Lynch. This might seem like an unusual location for an American exploration, but Lynch managed to convince the head of the Navy that it was a worthwhile mission. The official purpose was to learn more about the Dead Sea and its altitude below sea level, but Lynch was a very religious man and hoped to make discoveries confirming Biblical history. His crew, with the aid of camels, dragged three boats overland to the Jordan River, which they rode down the Jordan to the Dead Sea. They would later visit Jerusalem and Nazareth before returning to America. Item 113. €225 (US $330).

Item 22 is Dagverhaal eener reize naar Temboktoe, the first Dutch edition from 1831 of a book originally published in French the prior year. It is Rene-Auguste Caillie's report on his trip to Timbuktu, a legendary African city many Europeans believed held great wealth. Caillie was the first non-Muslim to visit the city and live to return (he disguised himself as a Muslim to accomplish this). However, what he found was not a city of gold, but a city that was in a long decline and state of disrepair from its heyday centuries earlier. €950 (US $1,394).

Gert Jan Bestebreurtje Rare Books is found online at www.gertjanbestebreurtje.com, telephone +31 (0)347-322548, email info@gertjanbestebreurtje.com.

Rare Book Monthly

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