First Editions of each volume of Lewis' Narrative of Various Journeys in Balochistan, Afghanistan, The Panjab, & Kalat; from the library of Adventurer and Aviator Steve Fossett with his bookplate to each volume
Narrative of Various Journeys in Balochistan, Afghanistan, The Panjab, & Kalat, During a Residence in those Countries.
Masson, Charles. [James Lewis].$5,500.00
Item Number: 95145
London: Richard Bentley, 1842.
First edition of this narrative of Lewis’ travels between 1826 and 1838 through Balochistan, Sind, the Hazara, Afghanistan and the Punjab. Octavo, four volumes. Bound in full morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, morocco spine labels, gilt ruled, marbled endpapers, illustrated with engravings, folding map. From the Adventure and Exploration collection of James Stephen “Steve” Fossett with his bookplate to the pastedown of each volume. American businessman and record-setting aviator Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in 2002 in his 10-story high balloon Spirit of Freedom. He completed the 2002 trip in 13 days, 8 hours, and 33 minutes and set records for both the Longest Distance Flown Solo in a Balloon and Fastest Balloon Flight Around the World. Fossett was also one of sailing’s most prolific distance record holders set the Absolute World Speed Record for airships with a Zeppelin NT in 2004. He received numerous awards and honors throughout his career including aviation’s highest award, the Gold Medal of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which he was awarded in 2002. Fossett disappeared on September 3, 2007 while flying a light aircraft over the Great Basin Desert, between Nevada and California. In near fine condition. Provenance: from the library of John Archibald Shaw Stewart with a gift inscription to him on the front free endpaper of volume one, “from his sincere friends William Thomas Markham and Charles Henry Mills on his leaving Eton, Xmas 1845.” An exceptional association with noted provenance.
Published under the pen name Charles Mason, James Lewis published his memoirs of his travels throughout the Middle East and Central Asia in 1844. Completing most of the journey on foot, penniless, and in disguise, Lewis was at first thought to be a Russian using the alias Masson, but later discovered to be a deserter from the British army as Ludhiana. The narrative is the culmination of over twelve years of travels and archaeological studies, unique among Europeans of that era.