1886 Memoiren einer arabischen Prinzessin, with Arabic handwritten dedication by the author Princess Bibi Salme / Emily Ruete to her son

Memoiren einer Arabischen Prinzessin

 Memoiren einer Arabischen Prinzessin Volume 1 in First edition third issue:  The cover also has a different colour than the regular third issue of the first edition, however the same blue colour as the one in the Said Ruete library in Leiden.  

Author / Publisher: Princess Emily Ruete ; Salima bint Said Al Bu Said ; Bibi Salme / Berlin "H. Rosenberg"  1886.


memoiren einer arabischen prinzessin

Dedication by Princess Bibi Salme (Emily Ruete) to her son:
"Peace, greeting and thousand
love tokens from your mother
Salma bint Said Sultan"

Memoiren einer Arabischen prinzessin

Bookplate of Bibi's son Rudolph Said-Ruete in this book


Memoiren Einer Arabischen Prinzessin 1886

Verlag von H. Rosenberg (Hugo Mewis) sticker pasted over the name of Luckhardt

A quarter of all the different 1886 editions have this sticker. The background to this is completely unclear.


Book details:   Extremely Rare. The book has a personal handwritten dedication in Arabic to her beloved son Rudolph, including her signature, see the slide-show!!!!!

A manuscript note on graph paper in German has been added in, but this is unreadable to us.

The book-plate / ex-libris of Bibi's son Rudolph Ruete has also been glued in plus his handwritten signature

On the title page the name of the publisher Luckhardt has been pasted over with a sticker named "Berlin W. Verlag H. Rosenbeg (Hugo Mewis) " However the colophon at the end of the volume states that the book was printed by "Buchdruckerei von Friedrich Luckhardt Berlin"

We have only volume 1.

Approx. 900 books that belonged to Rudolph Ruete have been left to the Leiden university in 1937  (see Ref 4) He was a friend of the princess and her son.   This library is called the Said-Ruete Library that currently resides in the NINO institute in Leiden.


  1. An Arabian Princess between two worlds by E. van Donzel published by Brill  Leiden 1993
  2. 2015 Only the " Outward Appearance"  of a harem? Reading the memoirs of an Arabian princess as Material text by Kate Roy 13/1/2015 in Distinctions That Matter / Fictions Economiques  Belphegor literature populaire et culture  Comment: Interesting but not sure if all the conclusions make sense. Again no full analysis of the different  German and English first edition issues (with different covers)
  3. G.J. Kolff, De gedenkschriften eener Arabische prinses, long summary with comments of Emily's Memoirs in De Gids Jaargang 61 (1897) deel 3 p 85-106. This paper has not been quoted / referenced in any of the standard works discussing the Memoirs.
  4. Hielke van der Wijk, Het leven van Salme (1844-1924) prinses van Oman en Zanzibar, en de vroege uitgaven van haar memoires.(Jaarboek van het  Nederlands genootschap van Bibliofielen (pages 183-205) 2017
  5. Boekenwereld Jos Damen 25 (2008-2009) page 231 Waarom een princes uit Zanzibar trouwde met een Duitse koopman en hoe  haar bibliotheek in Leiden terecht kwam. ( Summary of the story of Bibi Salme and how her library (including the manuscripts of her memoirs) ended up in Leiden University  (oosters instituut)).                                                                             
  6.  In 1937 the Said Ruete library was given to the Oosters Instituut of the University of Leiden  run by Professor Snouck Hurgronje to celebrate the friendship of Bibi Salme and her son Rudolph Ruete with professor Snouck Hurgronje. The books in the library contain some interesting manuscript letters including one by the archaeologist / spy Max von Oppenheim to Rudolph Said Ruete which contains the following sentence: ‘Sie gehören tatsächlich zu den wenigen, die, wie ich, dieser Art mit der arabischen Welt Beziehungen haben, was bei Ihnen ja gar nicht zu verwundern ist, sind Siedoch der Sohn einer arabischen Prinzessin.". Also a book with many letters by captain G.J. Eccles is included in the library.

The  Said-Ruete library can be found in  www.nino-leiden.nl

De manuscripts and papers of the Ruete family are in the University  Leiden, www.bibliotheek.leidenuniv.nl

Below you find a Youtube film in German showing the beautiful final resting place in Germany of Bibi Salme.