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1930s, In and Around Baghdad (Main)


First edition of this travel guide to inter-war Baghdad, which provides a more expansive scope than much tourist literature of the time, this copy notably bright. This guide is now uncommonly found, and has been traced at six institutions worldwide (British Library, two copies; SOAS; University of California, two copies; Princeton; University of Pennsylvania; and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art).

Ernest Main was a British journalist based between Baghdad and Basra in the 1930s. He was the editor of The Times of Mesopotamia and The Baghdad Times, and the correspondent of the Daily Mail in Iraq. Alongside this work he wrote several accounts on the history and contemporary politics of Iraq.

The present work opens with an initial 15 pages of advertisements for businesses relevant to tourists such as hotels, cinemas, photographers, and luggage suppliers. It goes on to explore the Iraq Museum (complete with a list of licensed antique dealers in the area), the new X-ray department of the Royal Hospital, and surrounding areas of interest such as the archaeological excavations of ancient Eshunna, carried out by the Chicago Oriental Institute at Tell-Asmar.

Octavo. Original black cloth, rounded spine, titles to front cover in gilt, pale yellow textured endpapers.