FIRST EDITION of the travel account of Israel Joseph Benjamin (1818-1864), born in Falticeni, Moldavia, who after losing his money at the age of 25, decided to travel in search of the Ten Lost Tribes, leaving behind his pregnant wife and 5-year old son. Fashioning himself as Binyamin ha-Sheni, (The Second Benjamin), the medieval Benjamin of Tudela (12th century) being the first, he recorded his travels to the Jewish communities in the Near East, Central Asia, and North Africa. The book appeared first in French.
Traveling through Turkey, Eretz-Israel, Syria, Armenia, Iraq, Kurdistan, India, Afghanistan, Singapore, China, Iran and Egypt, he described not only the economic and social conditions of the various Jewish communities, but also numerous local legends associated with tombs, caves and other geographical features. In Morocco he recorded a unique version of the martyrdom story of Sol (Suleika) Hachuel of Tangier (1817-1834), the news of whose martyrdom reverberated through Europe in the middle of the 19th century. 220x140mm. 240 pages. Original quarter-leather marbled Hardcover with gilt ribbed spine. Cover and spine slightly worn. Cover edges and corners worn and somewhat peeling. Spine upper edge partly missing. Spine, spine hinges and bottom edge slightly rubbed. Binding visible on inner cover. Previous owner`s stamp on whitepage. First whitepage upper corner edge slightly (35mm) torn, second whitepage edge slightly (25mm) torn. Pencil notes on first whitepage. Last 50 pages bottom corner water-stained (no damage to text). Pages yellowing and slightly age-stained. [SUMMARY]: This extremely rare book is in good condition.