“Folklore of the Holy Land – Moslem, Christian and Jewish”
by J E Hanauer
Introduction by Marmaduke Pickthall
1st edition London 1907
This is a scarce early contribution by Marmaduke Pickthall in a delightful collection of stories from the Holy Land.
The following are the full contents of this book:
I. Saints, Sinners, and Miracles
I. A Learned Moslem’s Ideas On Cosmogony
II. Our Father Adam
III. Noah and Og
IV. Job and His Family
V. Abraham, ”the Friend of God”
VI. Lot and the Tree of the Cross
VII. The Deaths of Moses and Aaron
VIII. David and Solomon
IX. El Khudr
X. Simon The Just
Legends and Anecdotes
I. Bâb El Khalìl, The Jaffa Gate at Jerusalem
II. Turbet Birket Mamilla
III. En Nebi Daûd
IV. Bâb el Asbât
V. Detective Stories
VI. Scraps of Unwritten History
VII. Judgements of Karakash
VIII. The Saragossan Purim
IX. Sultan Mahmûd’s Autograph
X. The Right Answer
Ideas and Superstitions
Folks Gentle and Simple
II. The Secret of Success
III. Origin of Three Well-Known Sayings
IV. Moral Tales
V. The Angel of Death
VI. The Underground Folk
VII. Nursery Tales
IX. About Women
X. About Animals
XI. About Plants
XII. About Coffee
XIII. Some Magic Cures
XIV. A Popular Calendar and Some Sayings
Translation of a Jewish Amulet
Marmaduke Pickthall was a class mate of Winston Churchill and was known to be a vocal supporter of the Ottoman Empire. Pickthall reverted to Islam around the time of the First World War although he was already well travelled throughout Egypt and Syria at least a decade prior, where he was often mistaken for a ‘native’ due to his fluent Arabic.
We have located a fully rebound copy available for sale for $250 but please note that our copy is in the original cloth covers as issued.
Please note that there is some fading to the covers from exposure to sun, a small section is missing at the top of the spine and there are some other minor blemishes such as foxing on some of the pages.
The following is a Spectator Review from 1907:
This collection begins with a cosmogony as conceived by a ” learned Moslem,” which may be profitably compared with Genesis i.-ii. Then we have the stories of Adam and of Noah according to the same rendering,—Eblis entered the Ark hidden under the donkey’s tail, while Og, who seems to have been a grandson of Noah, survived the Flood, which did not come up further than his ankles.
Job appears, not a little different from the Job of Scripture, white Job’s wife is entirely rehabilitated in our esteem. About Abraham a number of curious stories have gathered; one of them represents him as having played on Habran (patriarch of Hebron, which was then “inhabited by Jews and Christians”) the trick of the bull’s-hide.
So we go through the Old Testament, struck as we proceed by the sobriety of the Hebrew and the extravagance of the Arab legends. Though legends that have gathered about the personages of the Now Testament are not given. They have ceased, thinks the author, to be local. The ” time of ignorance “- i.e., the period before Mohammed—is omitted, but the conquest of Jerusalem by Omar downwards is a fresh starting-point.
Some of the stories seem to be at least founded on fact; and, indeed, when we come down to quite recent times we find undoubtedly genuine stories that might have been told of the days of the Caliphs. Here is one of Ibrahim Pasha. A gold- smith of Jaffa complained that his house had been robbed, and remarked that the Egyptian occupation had not brought security. The Pasha promised redress. The next day he came to the man’s shop, and in the presence of a great crowd ordered the executioner to give the door a hundred lashes. Then he stooped as if to listen. ” The door talks nonsense,” he cried; ” another hundred ! ” Ho stooped again. “The same tale; the door persists that the thief is somewhere in this crowd of honest people, and that he has some of the dust and cobwebs from the shop on his tarbitsh.” He had his eye on the crowd, and saw a man hastily raise his hand to brush his fez. The man was arrested, and confessed his guilt.
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