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Reviews of A Narrative of a Year's Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia, 1862-63 by William Gifford Palgrave, Published 1865 [‎14r] (27/42)

The record is made up of 1 file (21 folios). It was created in 1865. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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Palgrave'5 Arabia.
relation thirsting for vengeance on tlie murderers of the inha
bitants of Kerbelah, After such a specimen of the manner in
which he deals with historical facts, Mr. Palgrave must not be
surprised if his statements are regarded as requiring confirmation.
By perverting almost every historical incident, by assuming
what there is not a tittle of evidence to substantiate, by attri
buting impossible motives, and by drawing upon his own imagi
nation, or that of his Arab friends, for such materials as the facts
did not supply, he has made up a picturesque story, which he
intends should be accepted as history. Considered as fiction,
the chief defect of Mr. Pal grave's story of ' The Life and Death
of Abd-ul-Azeez,' would be that it does such violence to the
truth of history as is not permitted in historical romance.
He cannot account for these singular statements by saying
that he was misled by his Arab informants. No intelligent
Arab could have told him that the reign of Abd-ul-Azeez was
short, or that he was succeeded by his brother Abd-Allah.
Neither is this a mere mistake of the name and relationship of
the successor, for the character which Mr. Palgrave attributes
to that successor is, in almost every particular, inconsistent with ,
that of Saood, the actual successor.
On the flight of Ghaleb, the shereef of Mekka, in 1803, to
Jeddah, the ' Sacred City' had surrendered to Saood, who entered
it with a part of his army. Mr. Palgrave states that Mekka was
taken by Abd-Allah, and the Turkish garrison was massacred ;
but these statements are erroneous. Neither on that occasion
nor on any other were the Wahabees guilty of massacre or pillage
in Mekka. Saood made thereafter repeated 'pilgrimages' to
Mekka, but always with a strong force ; and in 1809 he received
the personal submission of Ghaleb. But in 1803 he had inter
dicted all except Hhe orthodox' from entering the 'sacred pre
cincts,' and by military force closed the ordinary roads by which
the Haj caravans entered the Hejaz. The prosperity if not the
existence of Mekka and Medina depended mainly on the dis
bursements and traffic of the Haj ; and Saood knew that by
intercepting these he took the most effectual means of starving
them into submission.
In 1809 Saood visited Medina, where he was received with
open arms and much pomp, and, after a few days, returned to
Dereeyah, without disturbing the tomb of Mahomed; but on a
second visit, in 1810, he removed from it what the shereefs and
guardians who preceded him had left of the votive offerings of
manv generations. The whole Mahomedan world—the Waha-
bees excepted—was struck with horror at the sacrilege ; but when
the iewels and vessels of silver and gold were sold by auction at
J Medina

About this item


Three published reviews of Palgrave's Arabia , one from a journal and two from newspapers:

  • Pages 182-215 from the Quarterly Review which contained a review of Palgrave's Arabia (ff. 2v-19). The review is undated but is believed to be c.1865.
  • Press cutting from the Friend of India of their review of 'Mr Palgrave's journey through Arabia'. The Press Cutting is undated but is believed be c.1865.
  • Press cutting from the Times of India , 4 November 1865 of an article entitled 'Central and Eastern Arabia' which reviews Palgrave's book.

The publication which the reviews relate to:

William Gifford Palgrave, A Narrative of a year's journey through Central and Eastern Arabia 1862-1863 (London, 1865)

Extent and format
1 file (21 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: This file has been foliated in the top right hand corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio with a pencil number enclosed in a circle.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Reviews of A Narrative of a Year's Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia, 1862-63 by William Gifford Palgrave, Published 1865 [‎14r] (27/42), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F126/68, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 August 2019]

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