1841 Reisen nach der Stadt der Khalifen by Wellsted

Wellsted Reisen nach der Stadt der Khalifen


Reisen nach der Stadt der Khalifen, die Ufer des Persischen Meerbusens und des Mittelländischen Meeres entlang. Mit Einschluß einer Reise nach der Küste von Arabien und der Insel Socotra.

 Author / Publisher: J.R. Wellsted / Dennig u. Finck Pforzheim 1841






Reisen nach stadt der Khalifen by Wellsted


Very rare German two volume edition (in one binding)  describing the Persian Gulf and the Omani Island of Socotra. Contents: VI , 1 , 474. First published in English with the title The City of Caliphs by J.R. Wellsted in two volumes.  The first edition was in 1840 London (includes a map and 2 illustrations) No map and illustrations in this German edition. The London edition is extremely valuable but no complete example of this German nor the American  edition found on the Internet. First edition of this uncommon, and important account.  Secretary to Sir Charles Malcolm, superintendent of the Bombay marine, 1828-9, in 1830 Wellsted “was appointed second-lieutenant of the East India Company’s ship Palinurus, then engaged, under Captain Moresby, in making a detailed survey of the Gulf of ‘Aqabah and the northern part of the Red Sea. She returned to Bombay early in 1833, and was then sent, under the command of Captain Haines, to survey the southern coast of Arabia, Wellsted being still her second-lieutenant.  In January 1834 she crossed over to Socotra, and on the 10th anchored in the Bay of Tamarida. Wellsted spent the following two months traveling in the island … In November 1835 Wellsted had permission to travel in Oman, and went to Muscat with Lieutenant F. Whitelock, also of the Indian navy. The imam gave them every assistance in his power, but their fever and the disturbed state of the country curtailed their plans. None the less, the two reached areas which no European had previously seen and which were not visited again by Europeans for another hundred years .” Wellsted seems to have attempted another venture into Oman the next winter, but he arrived at Muscat “in an acute stage of fever. ‘In a fit of delirium he discharged both barrels of his gun into his mouth, but the balls, passing upwards, only inflicted two ghastly wounds in the upper jaw’. He was carried to Bombay, and thence returned to Europe on leave. He retired from the service in 1839, ‘and dragged on a few years in shattered health and with impaired mental powers, chiefly residing in France’” (ODNB) He died in 1842. “Wellsted was an acute observer and not blinded by prejudice or ignorance in his description of the local people.  His accounts of the geography of Oman, particularly the irrigation systems and the way of life in remote mountain tracts, continue to be important as a unique description of the country at an early date.”


  1. Engelmann I, 128; Vgl. Ibrahim-Hilmy II, 324