1888 Memoirs of an Arabian princess (genuine first English edition) 1888

Memoirs of an Arabian princess 1888 Emily Ruete


Memoirs of an Arabian princess by Emily Ruete / Bibi Salme.  This is the genuine first English edition published by Ward and Downey in London 1888.The name of the author, nor the translator is mentioned in the book.

 Memoirs of An Arabian Princess 1888


Description: Very Rare. We found 8 other copies around the world with this binding. The copy of Trinity college probably entered the library  as a "legal deposit" in January 1888, but was advertised months earlier e.g. in the Ward and Downey book publication titled  "Six months in the Hejaz"

The book includes some corrections that Emily Ruete made after the first German edition in 1886 (see van Domsel). This issue with a grey cover, a bit faded. Just like the first German edition in 1886 every issue of the first English edition has a cover in a different colour! The book been republished many times well into recent times.  

The pictorial illustration on the cover is a romantic version of the German cover: however the architecture of the buildings bear no resemblance to the Omani palaces in Zanzibar.

Some minor spotting otherwise fine

  1. An Arabian Princess between two worlds by E. van Donzel published by Brill  Leiden 1993
  2. Jos Damen, Boekenwereld tijdschrift voor boek en prent, van Tilt 25e jaargang nr 3 (Maart 2009) page 231 "waarom een prinses uit Zanzibar trouwde met een Duitse koopman En Hoe haar bibliotheek in Leiden terechtkwam" Article discusses the Said Ruete library in Leiden university.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