London: Smith, Elder, & Co.,, 1898. Item #05002
"Sailing up the River Nile in "a Turtle-Bottomed, Round-Bowed Stern-Wheeler"
With Forty Full-Page Illustrations by Sydney Paget
DOYLE, Arthur Conan. [PAGET, Sydney, illustrator]. The Tragedy of the Korosko [A Desert Drama]. With Forty Full-Page Illustrations. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1898.
First English edition. Octavo (7 1/2 x 5 inches; 191 x 127 mm.). xii, 333, [1, blank], [6, publishers advertisements] pp. Frontispiece and thirty-nine full page plates by Sidney Paget included in pagination.
Publisher's dark red cloth, front cover blocked in gilt, spine lettered in gilt, black coated endpapers. Spine very slightly darkened, two small splits to foot of spine. With the armorial bookplate of Edward Francis Turner on front pastedown. An excellent copy.
12,500 copies were published on 1st February 1898 priced 6/-.
The Tragedy of the Korosko was serialized a year earlier in The Strand magazine between May and December 1897, and was later turned into a 1909 play Fires of Fate. The play was in turn twice adapted into films: a 1923 silent film and a 1932 talkie…
A group of European tourists are enjoying their trip to Egypt in the year 1895. They are sailing up the River Nile in "a turtle-bottomed, round-bowed stern-wheeler", the Korosko. They intend to travel to Abousir at the southern frontier of Egypt, after which the Dervish country starts. They are attacked and abducted by a marauding band of Dervish warriors. The novel contains a strong defence of British Imperialism and in particular the Imperial project in North Africa. It also reveals the very great suspicion of Islam felt by many Europeans at the time….