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Item #: OP39-471
ARABIAN SANDS 1959 1st US edition Hardcover with Dust Jacket SIGNED by Wilfred Thesiger
By Thesiger, Wilfred
Price: $199.00

List Price: $450.00
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Arabian Sands SIGNED by Wilfred Thesiger 

In late 2002 we were contacted by a customer who wished to buy a copy of Arabian Sands. He told us he was going to visit Wilfred Thesiger in England, and wanted a copy for himself to get signed by Thesiger. I asked him if he would be willing to take along a second copy to get signed for me. He agreed.

In January 2003 he returned this copy to us, signed in the obviously frail hand writing of Thesiger, who at that time was 92 years old and living in a nursing home. He also sent a typed letter with the following message:  

1-22-2003 Winters CA (near Sacramento)

This book, Arabian Sands, was signed, in my presence, by Sir Wilfred Thesiger on 22nd of December 2002 at Woodcote Grove House (Near Croydon, South of London.) 

Jon S.....  (and Signed)

Thesiger died on 24 August 2003. This is the only copy of a book signed by Thesiger we have ever had. 

To help authenticate the signature, and compare it to known signed copies of the book, we were able to obtain copies of images of Thesiger's signature in other copies of Arabian Sands, from three New York and London booksellers. The booksellers included some of the world's most reputable book shops. Below are three known Thesiger signatures.  Their prices for Signed 1st UK editions of Arabian Sands were $1360, $2500 and $4000. 

From our comparisons of the handwriting, and our extensive experience is obtaining signatures from Sir Edmund Hillary, when his handwriting was strong and later when it was frail, we are confident the signature we are offering is authentic. 

These older Thesiger signatures are arranged simply by the size of our images, and we do not know, and I suspect nobody knows for sure, when or where they were signed. The way he crossed out his printed name and replaced it with his signature is a personal touch of some authors. A modern author we all know who still does this is Joe Simpson. 






New York, 1959, 1st US edition. 326 pp, 69 photos, 9 maps. Thesiger was one of the most remarkable writers and explorers of the twentieth century. He traveled through the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia with the Bedu, by camel, for five years, something no westerner has done before or since. His writing of the beauty of the desert and the hard life of the Bedu is rich and powerful, and you are sure to be moved by it. Original hardcover first edition with a chipped Dust Jacket, the book is utterly Fine. 

With this book Wilfred Thesiger took his place among the few great Arabian travelers - not only as an explorer, but as a writer. Arabian Sands covers the five years ending in 1950 which, with the exception of brief interruptions only, Thesiger spent in and around the Empty Quarter, the half million square miles of one the cruellest deserts of the world. Before him no other traveller, European or Arab - apart from the Bedu who live there - had twice dared to cross those empty wastes. 

Travelling without European companions and living as an Arab, Thesiger's experience and knowledge of the desert life are unique - and will remain so, for the world he describes has vanished, succumbing to the invasion of technicians in search of oil. Thesiger's account of the Arabian Sands and its people, its tribal warfare and ancient history, its daily life and landscape is widely hailed as a classic of Arabian travel literature. Wilfred Thesiger charts the time he spent living with the Bedu, including his legendary traverses of the Empty Quarter.

Wilfred Thesiger was the last of the great British eccentric explorers, a legendary figure renowned for his travels though some of the most inaccessible places on earth. Arabian Sands was his widely acclaimed first book and is recognized as one of the great travel classics. His prose and photographs capture the spirit of the proud tribespeople who became his friends and the harsh landscape he inhabited with them in a way very few westerners have.


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