The Land and the Book, or Biblical Illustrations drawn from the Manners and Customs, the Scenes and Scenery of the Holy Land by W. H. Thomson - T. Nelson and Sons, London: 1872.
Thomson's best-known book, written in the 19th century, accompanied by Boards in colorful lithographic print depicting landscapes and sites in Palestine, and dozens of in-text illustrations of people in oriental dress, landscapes, animals and plants from the Middle East, and a folded map of Palestine (46x46 cm). The author, William McClure Thomson, an American who lived almost a jubilee year in Lebanon and Eretz Israel and described in detail and precision the details that make up the Middle Eastern landscape. During his long stay in the Levant, Thomson learned get to know the Land of Israel well. Ernest Renan, one of the most important scholars of the East, noted that Thomson made more tours in the country more than any scholar of his time. Thanks to his knowledge of the local languages, Thomson served as an interpreter for biblical scholars who visited the area. In 1852, he accompanied Edward Robinson, one of the founders of Biblical archeology, on his second journey in the Land of Israel. During his stay in the area Thomson was up close to severe events. In 1837 he arrived in Safed about two weeks after the devastating earthquake accompanied by a doctor and provided assistance to the victims. The detailed report Thomson submitted on the disaster was widely publicized and copied in many books.
The book before us, was first published in 1859 and gained widespread and unprecedented worldwide circulation. He has appeared in the next forty years in various editions in the United States and England (with modifications and additions, and differences from edition to edition). It is accepted that in his time it was the most common book after "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (and the third after the Bible). The book is arranged as a kind of travel diary in which Thomson guides his accompanying and answers his questions, as he accompanies him on his travels from Beirut along the Eretz Israel - a journey that ends in Jerusalem. The book is replete with many illustrations that have been adapted for engravings based on paintings collected from various sources, including those of Bartlett, David Roberts and Carl van de Velde. In Thomson's view, one should not understand the Land of Israel without the Bible and one should not understand the Bible without the land. The book is intended to illustrate to its readers the biblical scripture by observing the people and their customs, the nature of the land and its present settlements.
XVII,  Map + 718 pages  Lithographic plates. 20 cm. Original half-leather binding with a monogram in gilt embossing of: "WORCESTER LICHFIELD AND HERFORD TRAINNING COLLEGE 1873", Raised straps. Slight wear on cover. Very good condition.