David Roberts’ The Holy Land and Egypt and Nubia

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David Roberts’ The Holy Land and Egypt and Nubia

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Nov 5, 2011, 1:15pm

I believe several of you are enjoying this book.
I have been turning around it for nearly a year, but I cannot make up my mind!
The FS website does not detail much about the content, apart the 500 and something lithos.
Apart the illustrations, is there any text, maps?
Would it be possible to have pictures of an entire page posted here?
Thanks so much!

Nov 5, 2011, 1:31pm

I placed some pictures of the book on a website just after I received my copy. Check out: http://pacfrodo.home.xs4all.nl/books_Juli2009/index3.htm

I think it might help in choosing whether to buy or not. I personally love the publication a lot. There is a lot of text on the various monuments, but not so many maps. I'm not even sure there is one map in it, but the incredible lithos make up for it completelty.

Edited: Nov 5, 2011, 2:00pm

Hi, many thanks.
I have bookmarked your blog, full of gorgeous pictures.
In fact, I took the decision to order the Moby Dick after seeing your pictures. But I did not see the Roberts's, the navigation through the page is uneasy.

And I think I m going to order it, after one night of dreaming about it!

Nov 5, 2011, 9:30pm

>2 friso_geerlings:, can I use your pictures on Books and Vines? Could you send me colophon info (type of paper, type, etc.). You happen to have any other pictures?

Nov 6, 2011, 3:53am

>2 friso_geerlings: , Thanks for the photo, hopefully you can come up with more .

I often spent time looking for pictures of an inner page , which is rarely found , i guess the owner spent too much time enjoying thier book. and usually skip the hassle of sharing a photo.

Nov 7, 2011, 12:33pm

>4 busywine:, feel free to use the images that are online for Books and Vines. Don't have the time now to dive into the colophon details though.

Nov 7, 2011, 1:01pm

>6 friso_geerlings:, thanks,
can anyone send me the colophon details?

Nov 12, 2011, 9:49am

> 7 I found some time to take a picture of the Colophon, it has been added to he page at:

Nov 12, 2011, 2:30pm


Nov 13, 2011, 3:33pm

Thanks friso - amazing collection and photographs. After seeing the photographs, I deperately want to have the two LE's - The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and The Holy Land and Egypt and Nubia.

I already have a couple of Limited Editions that you have (Moby Dick, War and Peace, Wind in the Willows etc.) but am yet to lay my hands on the Omar Khayyam and Holy Land.

They look out of this world!!

Thanks a lot.

Nov 13, 2011, 3:44pm

> 10, Neil, they are indeed both beyond perfect. The Holy Land is such a perfect tome to get back to time and again to look at the most wonderful plates ever produced. I don't think the Omar Khayyam is still available from Folio Society though, you'd have to check it out on the secondary market.

Nov 13, 2011, 3:50pm

I don't see the Omar Khayyam even on the secondary market - the Holy Land is too pricey for me for the time being. :-(

Thus, for the time being, I have to satiate myself by looking at those gorgeous photographs.

Feb 29, 2012, 1:18am

After being on my desperately wanted list for some months I have finally succumbed and ordered Holy Land - this site is costing me a fortune! Ten monthly payments again is the only reason I can manage it.
I was constantly worrying that it would sell out and the FS does not seem to be listing how many are left any more.
This will be my most expensive LE, but on a per volume basis, the Queen Mary Atlas is still costlier.

Feb 29, 2012, 9:08am

> 13

You have indeed taken the right decision. I ordered it sometime back after waiting for almost a year and trust me, I regret the fact that I hadn't ordered it an year ago....:-)

Mar 12, 2012, 3:04am

The two massive Roberts volumes have arrived in Australia in pristine condition and are certainly impressive in their dimensions being by far the tallest books I now own. Appreciating and reading them slowly over several weeks will be a delight.
My copy was number 400 in a run of 1000, so if the FS are following their usual procedure and distributing them in numerical order, there are another 600 sets yet available.
Provided FS are following this protocol it seems there is no rush to order yet despite being available for nearly two years.

Mar 12, 2012, 3:34am

Congrats with the Roberts. Two very nice volumes indeed.

The way Folio is issuing limitation numbers remains a complete mystery to me. I do not think Folio is issuing the books in numerical order, I ordered my Roberts about a year ago and received limitation number 860. No idea what Folio's algorithm in this matter is. Do they issue limitation numbers in a random fashion? Whatever book happens to be on top of the pile? The number is hand written, perhaps they maintain a tick off list and simply pick a number not issued before and write it in the book when sold... (delicate process, it might also go wrong :-) )

Edited: Mar 12, 2012, 4:02am

>16 ExportFrisian:
Once again the FS is defying logic with issuing the numbers of their LEs. With South Polar Times members of this group posted their issue numbers and order dates and they seemed to follow logically (the lowest FS devotee number was 4 for someone who ordered instantly, mine was 83 as I delayed by a couple of weeks).
I guess we have no real way of knowing how many of the Roberts books are left. I ordered now because I was concerned they may run out.

On a different matter, the time noted on these posts seems to be GMT which makes you a total insomniac Export Frisian as 3.34am is a very uncivilised hour in the Netherlands, but 5.34 pm in Australia is a normal hour to be perusing LT.

Mar 12, 2012, 4:41am

>17 wcarter: Well, it is coffee time 9:40 CET here at the moment. I have no idea the timezone LT is using. Coming to think of it, it would be nice seeing the posts in a local timezone.

Mar 12, 2012, 4:44am

>18 ExportFrisian:
Oops, my error. We are +10 hrs GMT here (not -10 hrs), but the time stamp is actually +14 hrs, so that makes the time stamp eastern USA. Does anyone have any clues about this?

Mar 12, 2012, 4:48am

It's my understanding that LT uses Eastern Standard Time. It's 9:48 here in Spain.

Mar 12, 2012, 8:43am

I ordered Roberts Holy Land 11 months ago and got number 886.

Mar 12, 2012, 3:31pm

I ordered the Roberts Volumes in September 2010 and got number 620.

Mar 26, 2012, 6:02am

Ordered mine a few days ago, and have received number 928 - I think that's about where they are up to in sales. I went to Jordan to see the sights about eighteen months ago, and Egypt the year before that, so I've had my eye on this since its publication, even though I rarely buy LEs. The wait has mainly been because of lack of any suitable space for books of this size and shape, but the latest shuffle to squeeze a little more book space out of my room has provided some sort of a solution.

I'm really pleased with the set, but I do urge older Devotees who may be interested to act now while they still have the strength to lift the books, and manoeuvre them in and out of slipcases...

Mar 26, 2012, 1:12pm

> 23

You are so fortunate. Congratulations!

Mar 26, 2012, 1:34pm

>23 affle:

affle, I just recently purchased this set too, and anxiously awaiting arrival. It's more than I would ever normally spend on any books, more than I spend on any single luxury item, but the 10-payments plan helps. These are just too beautiful, and likely the best presentation of the plates to come around for quite sometime.

Would you recommend shelving them flat or vertical?

Mar 26, 2012, 2:25pm

>24 drasvola: Thank you, Antonio - fortunate is right, but in view of the two wonderful tours I had to these places, I know I would have regretted letting it go past. The artistic eye of David Roberts brings sensitivities to the sights which my photographs cannot manage, and the wonder at the preservation of these sights which I experienced is underlined by Roberts's images of them newly cleared of sand, or still partly covered. The sense of antiquity from Roberts's work is very strong. The previous LE I bought was Moby Dick, and the only pang of regret I have felt for any of the later ones has been for Candide - I try not to buy unseen, and that was sold out before I had a chance to see it. And the only earlier one I regret is the Surinam Album, but I didn't know Merian's work until I saw an amazing exhibition of it in Amsterdam four years ago - by then too late. So I am fortunate to have secured this one.

>25 britchey: I hope you'll be as pleased as I am. You have the choice on storage, I think, depending on what you can manage: the slipcases have supports for the text blocks if they are stored vertically - the blocks are enormously heavy, and would otherwise sag and strain the binding. But I have no shelves that deep, and every centimetre of wall space is covered in shelves, so I can't store them vertically; instead I have created a pair of shelves, side by side, each just deep enough to store them horizontally. I had no choice, and I suspect this may be the safer option for them, but the spine titling etc would look better vertical.

Mar 26, 2012, 5:26pm

>23 affle:
Affie, I agree that they are magnificent volumes, but I would not be so sure that there are fewer than 100 of the Roberts work left. I received mine a fortnight ago and the number was 400.
Does anyone know if there is any way of finding out accurately how many of any LE have been sold?

Mar 26, 2012, 5:35pm

>27 wcarter:
I'm sure you would have already tried this, but do they give you any indication if you just email them and ask?

Mar 26, 2012, 6:18pm

I received a letter from FS today that states only 120 copies remain of The Holy Land, Egypt and Nubia.

Apr 3, 2012, 6:12pm

I received this set today - #933 out of 1,000.

They are UNBELIEVABLY huge. Seriously, if you haven't seen these books in person, you cannot fathom how large they are. I have a pretty fat cat, and he could easily sleep on top of one of these with room to spare. Side-by-side, they would make a lovely coffee table. :D

The plates are gorgeous, the descriptions fascinating, but the size of these books is hard to get over. They're not even rightly called "books." They're tomes. I'm really struggling with where I'm going to put them. Part of me wishes that Folio has sold the plates loose like the Temple of Flora non-LE, with a nice buckram volume containing all of the descriptions.

I was seriously considering returning them because of their size, but the longer they sit here, the harder it is to think of letting them go.

Apr 3, 2012, 7:17pm

>30 britchey:
Sounds like my first reaction when I received my Kelmscott Chaucer (non-LE), which, looking at the dimensions on the site, is smaller than this one, but not by too much.

Apr 4, 2012, 2:08pm

So, I spent yesterday evening going page-by-page through The Holy Land, really absorbing the images and text. It's all very beautiful. I was really falling in love with it, often turning a page and being stunned with a whispered, "Wow!" at the grandeur and photo-realism of Roberts' sketches.

The TERRIBLE news is, although I was very careful about turning the pages, with the book laid flat on a firm surface, and yet it's damaged! As I got to the last quarter of the book, I heard a cracking sound, and when I looked into the spine, this is what I saw:

The paper of the binding has torn away, as though it was poorly glued.

Then, as I got to the last signature, I saw this:

It's pulling away from the binding! I'm afraid it's going to completely separate if too much stress is applied.

I mean, these aren't so much cosmetic damages as they are structural damages. I'm really concerned about the long term integrity of the binding.

I called Folio and spoke with Sally. She said that the Limited Editions staff will be in touch with my shortly. This is such a shame. Just when I'd decided that I couldn't give these books up if you pried them from my corpse, I find the kind of damage that concerns me if I should be paying $1800 for anything the Folio Society produces. This is just not the kind of quality I expected for that price – easily the most I've ever spent, or plan to spend, on any single volume or set.

If it comes down to returning these books, I sincerely hope that I will be reimbursed for the shipping charges.

Apr 4, 2012, 2:27pm

> 32

That is horrible - I would never accept a book that has damages like this. Indeed its a structural damage and Folio needs to be very careful and attentive towards the quality of its books - not just the content but also the structural part of it. The worse thing is that we paid $1800+ for this set.

Just to add on - my experience has been good (touchwood) with limited editions. The only LE I ever had a complaint with was Egypt/Holy Land - fortunately only with its slipcase that they readily replaced.

Apr 4, 2012, 2:49pm

>33 Neil77:
Speaking of slipcase, I was looking at the images on Folio's site, and I was quite taken aback by the closeup of the slipcase shown here:

That is not what the front edge of my slipcase looks like. What about yours? Mine looks like cloth that's been gathered, folded, and flattened. Upon closer inspection, it's clear that the image on Folio's site has been Photoshopped to make the edge appear smoother and uniform. I've drawn some simple circles and lines to reveal identical patterns where their graphic designer used Photoshop's clone tool to copy and paste smooth areas of cloth over the folds. These hallmarks of poor cloning will be obvious to anyone who works in the industry. Above the large left circle, you can see unnatural smoothing and blurring. I suspect that the piece of cloth which extends back into the slipcase beneath the textblock support was also digitally added. The edge where it meets the sidewall is just too sharp, and there is a noticeable "seam" where it meets the area in front of the support.

This is pretty devious, isn't it?

Apr 4, 2012, 2:51pm

>32 britchey:

Ouch. That's ugly. It kinda looks like the wrong size of paper a little bit - which caused the strain and the tear. And the whole binding had been just not done as it should have been.

That's always a risk with big books but there are ways to do it properly...

Apr 4, 2012, 3:17pm

> 34

My experience is same as yours. Obviously, FS has done a great job in manipulating the photograph.

Apr 4, 2012, 3:48pm

Wow, digitally altering the photos is a real low. That's really sad.

Apr 5, 2012, 5:01pm

It appears that the Folio Society has gone on a long holiday until next Tuesday, so I don't expect to hear from the Limited Editions Department until the middle of next week. Extremely disappointing. These books are sitting in their boxes in my den taking up a lot of room.

This is the last time I'll be spending so much money on any single book or set from The Folio Society.

Apr 5, 2012, 5:37pm

>38 britchey:

Thank you for sharing your experiences with the LE's. I've been on the fence about ordering one of these (any of them), and if I do take the plunge, it'd be with one of the cheaper books. I had been vacillating about if it was worth it to buy the Roberts volumes or the Temple of Flora, and I'll just go with one of the editions from another publisher for about $100-200. Definitely not as nice as a $1,800 set would be, but a lot cheaper, certainly.

(I must note that due to this, I'm seriously considering just getting the Temple of Flora - The Flower Plates instead of the LE itself).

Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 7:41pm

I heard back from Sally, and indeed, the Limited Editions Department is out of the office until Tuesday. Thursday-Tuesday seems an awfully long holiday to take immediately after launching a giant Spring Sale that will generate thousands of orders in the next few days. My frustration with FS is growing. At this point, I don't want a replacement in exchange for mailing back the colophon from the damaged book. I want these behemoths out of my house and my money refunded.

I'm just grateful that I did not pay the full price for these books all at once, but opted for the payment plan instead. It's the only consolation preventing me from getting full-blown angry.

Apr 5, 2012, 7:47pm

>40 britchey: You will get your money back - this sort of customer relations is what they do very well (I've been a member for almost 20 years)... You have every right to be flipping annoyed if an expensive LE arrives in such a flawed state but the men and women who work for the FS are allowed an Easter holiday just like you and I... I know that doesn't help but you will get your money back

Apr 5, 2012, 7:49pm

Not to mention that you need a working bank in UK for the transaction of the refund to go through...

Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 7:57pm

>41 lgreen666:,
Sure, they deserve a holiday, I'm not saying that, but no other company I know is taking off Thursday to Tuesday. Actually, most people I know have only Monday off.

I'm just frustrated that I got handed off to another department yesterday morning with nary a warning that I might not have this situation resolved for a week. Instead, it was left to another member here in the Spring Sale thread to alert me to the 5-day weekend.

Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 8:00pm

UK (and Europe as a whole) is a bit different from US...

PS: Both Friday and Monday are bank holidays: http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/bankholidays.html

Apr 5, 2012, 8:10pm

>44 AnnieMod:
Annie, thanks for the information. I feel a little better. But it's still a long time to wait. Would've appreciated a call yesterday or this morning. This isn't about a book I got on sale for $20.

Apr 5, 2012, 8:26pm

I understand -- but even if they were working 24/7, if it did not get refunded today during normal banking hours (which are more or less gone by the time US wakes up), it cannot be before Tuesday. The fun in the international banking.

I don't know why they did not call - maybe they needed to synchronize something. Last time when there was a problem with my account, they called me at ~ 6pm UK time on the day after we talked previously - basically the UK people had to check something and then the ones working in the US call center (still in UK but different number and people I think) to start working for the day so they can call me. At which time if something needed to be done (refund and so on), it would have been a day more. Which I suspect is what happened here as well.

Apr 5, 2012, 11:47pm

Just caught up on this thread. Britchey, that is awful news, but I'm sure Folio will make things right. Though it is frustrating!!!!! Out of all the LEs this would probably be my first buy if my finances allowed it. Keep us posted on what happens.

Apr 5, 2012, 11:59pm

As a matter of interest, are these books designed to be laid completely flat. I like to support the covers on each side on large volumes to avoid this as the stress on the binding must be significant. Obviously in an art volume flat opening is desirable.

Apr 6, 2012, 12:02am

>48 starkimarki:

At this price and at this size, if they cannot lay flat, someone did not put any thought in the design...

Apr 6, 2012, 12:16am

>49 AnnieMod:
Obviously they put in some thought, but was it enough?
Compare fig. 2 in this interesting article to the picture above:

Apr 6, 2012, 6:57am

> 45

I know how you must feel. A combination of bad luck and circumstances. I'm pretty sure that FS will do everything to correct the situation, but the sense of frustration will not be easily overcome, and the harm is already done.

Edited: Apr 6, 2012, 1:41pm

>50 starkimarki:
Thanks for the link, starkimarki. That's an interesting article. Informative, and something the average customer of Folio would never think about.

These books weigh 10 lbs apiece. If they are not meant to lay flat like this:

then, as AnnieMod said, someone at the Society failed to design them properly. They cannot be appreciated any other way, due to their size and weight. Curling up with these books, holding them in a spine-protecting V, is out of the question. They must be laid down on a flat surface and leaned over. Propping the front board against something so it doesn't fall flat is not a solution, again, because as you shift more and more of that 10 lbs to the front board, you put strain on it, potentially warping or cracking it.

>45 britchey:, 47
Thanks for the concern. I'm glad I have LT to vent my frustration. I'm an optimistic person by nature, so I still trust that FS will resolve the situation, I just wish it was sooner so I could get these boxes out of my house! :)

Apr 8, 2012, 4:12pm

sounds like a super set. If you are interested in the subject matter apart from the Folio imprint (Roberts, Holy Land , Nubia, Egypt) you may be interested in the cased set of 2 volumes published by the American University in Cairo; I bought this set at a very modest price at a bookshop in Luxor in Dec 2003 and has given me pleasure ever since. And was worth flying home with an extra suitcase of books. May be worth equiring whether the Am Univ bookshop in Cairo still has copies (incidentally this is a wonderful bookshop for all books on Egypt, archaeology, middle east).

Apr 8, 2012, 6:11pm

I only found this and it's only for sale in the middle east


Apr 8, 2012, 6:29pm

On the subject of laying a book flat. I once was reprimanded by staff in the reading room of the National Archive at Kew, London for trying to read a book whilst supporting one side of it on my arm to ease the strain on the binding. They insist that readers use foam wedges that sum to around 45 degrees so that the book is not open beyond around 140 degrees and never flat. If they are the experts in handling irreplaceable books maybe we should take the hint and do the same? Especially for LE's? Bye the Bye the book in question was the Attestation Register for the Metropolitan Police for 1870 or thereabouts.

Apr 8, 2012, 6:38pm

I have big books (Taschen mainly) and they open flat. It is a question of construction.

If they cannot lie flat, then they need to be shipped with something that will support them....

Books are not objects of art and beauty which you are just hanging on a wall. If it cannot handle leafing and reading, something is very very wrong. If they are not supposed to lay flat, they should not be able to open flat without force - it looks like they open just fine... but the spine and binding simply cannot take the weight...

Edited: Apr 10, 2012, 3:17pm

I received a very nice email this morning from Suzanne, the Limited Editions Manager, who won't be in the office until tomorrow, but saw my posts here and wanted to respond personally. She was apologetic and has arranged for a refund and shipping labels to be sent out so I can mail the books back free of charge. Now, that's the kind of customer service I was hoping to receive from Folio. It doesn't take much to satisfy me, all I wanted was some acknowledgment from the LE department that I wasn't going to be stuck with these books and the situation would be handled as quickly as possible. After Suzanne's nice email, I'm sure they would've taken care of it immediately if this hadn't coincided with the holiday.

Although I remain cautious about buying any more big ticket items from Folio, my faith in their customer service has been restored. :)

Apr 10, 2012, 3:42pm

>57 britchey:. Glad to hear she is taking care of you, even on her day off. Definately reveals how much they are trolling this board, but that's expected.

Apr 10, 2012, 3:44pm

> 57

That is excellent - I am glad that it worked out for you....FS's customer service is indeed one of the best I have encountered.

For me, however, the set is too gorgeous to be parted with - I would have definitely gone for a replacement and would have taken the damaged set as an exceptional case.

Apr 10, 2012, 4:12pm

>58 brother_salvatore:
I don't know if "trolling" is the right word. I usually equate it with behaviors like starting arguments and controversial topics to upset people and waste their time for the troll's enjoyment. I think it's fair to say they read this board because it is a valuable place for "taking the temperature" of their most devoted members. Personally, I think that's fantastic to know they are paying attention to us.

>59 Neil77:
I know what you mean, Neil77, they are absolutely gorgeous books, but I'm cautious with my money and I was nervous from the moment I ordered the set that I was spending a lot on two books. Finding the defects was like a punch in the gut, making me seriously re-evaluate if I'm the type who can even enjoy books in that price range, or if my nervousness about care and maintenance will always keep me from truly appreciating them. A manufacturing defect I know can be handled by Folio, but if I came home one day and found my cat had climbed my bookcase to sharpen his nails on the spine of an $800 book, I would probably have a heart attack! :)

Apr 10, 2012, 8:42pm

There is a reason I have books only and no pets!

Apr 10, 2012, 9:17pm

My dog has been known to chew and rip some dustjackets of books that are kept on shelves on ground level. This is why I keep only paperbacks on the bottom-most shelves of my bookcases.

Apr 10, 2012, 9:46pm

One more reason not to have any pets. My books and my CDs are my prized possessions - I ensure that they get the best possible care.

Apr 10, 2012, 11:59pm

> 63
Agreed. And Neil, thnk of all the reading time we gain by not having to walk and feed the pets! Then again since pet ownership supposedly lowers blood pressure and lengthens life, perhaps they get it on the back end and may even come out ahead. Still I would not risk any of my books to a misbehaved pet nor would I want their inevitable hair all over the libray.

Apr 11, 2012, 6:47am

May I recommend the hamster? A soothing and engaging small companion who with proper management will never come into contact with books, or at least with any that are considered at all precious, and who hasn't enough fur to worry about even if there is some occasional shedding. I'm sure fish can be very compatible with a library too, they just don't do it for me :-)

Apr 11, 2012, 7:53am

Not to mention that I finally have a second valid reason for my hatred of cats. The Atlantic had a very interesting article recently: http://goo.gl/fw6n2

Apr 11, 2012, 9:11am

> 64

i completely agree with you. Although I love to cuddle others' pets, I would never have one. Its too much of a mess. I have even seen books having a weird smell when they come from houses that own pets....

Apr 11, 2012, 12:34pm

" I have even seen books having a weird smell when they come from houses that own pets...."

>67 Neil77: You have remarkable eyesight!

Apr 11, 2012, 1:07pm

>68 starkimarki:

:-) Remarkable indeed - my senses work in unison :D

Apr 11, 2012, 5:26pm

This may be my Facebook addiction talking here, but I frequently have the desire to "like" comments on this site...

Apr 12, 2012, 1:34am

>69 Neil77:
I eat my words - I am tickled to have heard of a guy who saw a book having a smell ;)

Edited: Apr 12, 2012, 1:53am

>71 starkimarki:
I'm touched by your post.

EDIT: my fault for not recognizing you included the sense of touch, ie. "tickled." Well played! :D

Jun 27, 2012, 7:10pm

I have just finished slowly and carefully savouring David Robert's superb artwork in these massive tomes. The detail in the drawings is extraordinary and makes you feel that you have gone back 160 years into the Middle East as it was. I particularly enjoyed the lively street scenes of Cairo at the end of the Egypt and Nubia volume.

I did find one peculiar typo though. On pages 252-253 of the Egypt and Nubia volume, the text accompanying the drawing flows on from one page to the next, but the last line of text on the first page is repeated at the beginning of the next page, something that does not occur in other instances where the text goes to a second page.

In another thread, a member of this blog mentioned that they had received copy 991 of 1000 (mine is 400), but it is not yet shown as sold out on the FS web site. Can't be far off though.

Jun 28, 2012, 11:59am

>73 wcarter:

I am still wavering on this one.
Is there anything about the book that make you regret spending so much money on it ?

Jun 28, 2012, 12:33pm

> 74 I am the one who wavered until it was nearly too late (991/1000). I have no regrets, but I do have a word of warning. These books are really big, and really heavy, and quite awkward to manoeuvre in and out of their slipcases. They are not for people who want to curl up with a good book: you need a good clear desk or table to put them on for reading and turning (as some of the images are portrait, and some landscape), and you will then need to sit to them in studying mode. They are, in fact, quite a physical challenge - but Roberts's art is just great, and the reproduction superb. The text is interesting more for explaining the pictures than in its own right, but it does that job well.

So much money? Better not to think about it - you wouldn't have anywhere to put all the books you could buy instead...

Jun 28, 2012, 12:44pm

I finally gave in and ordered my copy a couple of days ago. I wonder what number I will get. I hope it will be 1000/1000... As far as I know this LE is nearly sold out.

Jun 28, 2012, 3:10pm

What's the size of this FS LE?

Jun 28, 2012, 3:49pm

>75 affle:

They don't exactly send the numbers out in linear way :)

Jun 28, 2012, 4:03pm

>77 kdweber:

20" x 13 3/4": and I thought Night Thoughts (three inches shorter) was large. I don't doubt it's wonderful but I take some consolation in not having to find a copy a home!

Jun 28, 2012, 5:09pm

> 77, 79 And 2 3/4" thick (in the slipcase). And about 8kg (17 or 18 lbs) each volume. Big.

Jun 28, 2012, 5:16pm

>74 kafkachen: Kafkachen
I have no regrets spending the money as I love detailed artwork and large books.
I have a lectern in my library, and large books sit on this to be read. The Roberts book was read two or three pages a day over several months so that I could truly savour each drawing and its intricate detail. Now I will go through them again more quickly to refresh my memory of the illustrations without reading the text.
You could really feel the atmosphere of the Middle East in the 1840s viewing the extraordinarily accurate artwork.
If you can afford it, buy it!

Jun 28, 2012, 6:17pm

>79 terebinth: Wow, that's larger than the Japan LE at 16" x12 1/2" which is already unruly and currently lying flat under the coffee table in the living-room. I think I'll stick with my two volume White Star edition which includes all 248 pictures, cost me $85 and can be read in bed at a manageable 10 3/4" x 7 3/4". I've also got a larger (11" x 13 1/2") single volume which has half of the prints. Luckily, there are a number of different editions of this work out on the market though none of the others is as large or impressive as the FS LE.

Jun 29, 2012, 12:56am

Thanks for sharing, no doubt bigger volume will fit snugly into your cozy library.

>75 affle: ,76
Thanks, if only I could peruse it at the MR , I am looking for the intoxicating effect some book could emit.

Jun 29, 2012, 6:40pm

These books are simply gargantuan: nearing the limit of practicable handling, but very impressive. They also document wonderful artworks and a fantastic, early Nineteenth Century journey that can have no comparator today.

I, too, sat on my hands for a long while before buying this set. I certainly don't regret paying a hefty price for them. These are heirlooms.

However, I did buy them "as new" on the secondary market, as the FS price in Australia was uncompetitive. You may want to review www.abebooks.com before deciding on whether to buy from FS. (I don't think there are any on offer at the moment, but I'm sure there will be from time to time.)

Jul 3, 2012, 2:03am

They should not be handled by anyone over 80 or under 8 as they may topple and crush them!

Then again, there is just something about such huge books that makes them desirable.

I have actually seen a copy of the biggest book ever published (it weighs 60 Kg and is 1.5 x 2.1 metres) in its country of origin - Bhutan. See my wife standing next to a copy (bottom of page) at:-

There are now copies scattered around the planet. See :-
Roberts books also get a mention as runners-up in this article.

Jul 3, 2012, 6:48am

Jul 20, 2012, 1:29pm

Only 35 of Robert's work left.
Going, going, ..........
Have I enabled you yet?

Jul 20, 2012, 11:50pm

>87 wcarter:
Dr. Carter
I remember there is a photo of your lectern bookcase somewhere, can you show me the link please ?

Jul 21, 2012, 2:44am

>88 kafkachen:,
Go to my profile page (click on my name at beginning of this post beside 89) and browse through the photos at the top right.
The Roberts books were read on the lectern bookcase - perfect for such huge volumes.

Jul 22, 2012, 7:04am

>89 wcarter:
Thanks. it is not easy for me to find a ready made lectern shelf from here

My copy had arrived. a bit bigger then kelmscott Chaucer, but easier to dapple with.

The art itself worth the price. no regret .

As someone else had complained, they are some weakness points on the binding, FS should have contracted it to a better binder on such a large book. especially when they want to sell it at such a price.

Now I need to find a lectern to shelve it. ;D

Jul 23, 2012, 12:48pm

Great photos kafkachen, and I agree, the pictures are worth the price alone. In fact I read the text merely to orientate myself the first time through, then repeatedly went through the pictures again and again, leaving the book unturned on the lectern until the end, then turning it sideways and going through a second time to see the landscape format drawings.
By the way, I designed the lectern myself, took the design to a cabinetmaker, who then made it for me. I have never seen one ready made, but saw a similar one in a library when touring one of the great houses of France some years ago.

Jul 26, 2012, 1:54am

A little off topic - but I just got back from a trip to Jordan and Petra in particular. Interestingly many of the souvenir stalls scattered around the ruins and nearby town were selling books of David Roberts prints - French and Spanish versions it seemed. Obviously not to the scale and quality of the Folio edition.

Petra itself was magnificent. Highly recommend it for anyone who is able to make the trip. Perhaps not mid summer as I did though - it was up to 42 C while I was there.

Edited: Jul 26, 2012, 10:05am

>92 ianm74:

The heat index got up to 44 C in the Washington DC area just a couple weeks ago. I think it's only supposed get up to 39 today.

Jul 26, 2012, 10:22am

>92 ianm74:

I think it would be fun if someone make an photo album that recapture all David Robert's object in the same viewpoint.

Edited: Jul 27, 2012, 2:12am

I have a crack on the spine no less appalling then Britchey had mentioned above. and Pages are annoyingly glue together at the hinge every other 5 or 6 pages. preventing it to open flat.

Jul 26, 2012, 4:03pm

>95 kafkachen:
Kafkachen, I have had no such problem with my copies, which have been read three times through so far. You may have been unlucky and should complain direct to FS.
>94 kafkachen:
As for your idea of photos of these sites, those of Petra and the Pyramids are readily available, but many other sites are now no longer in existence, or have been moved out of context or flooded due to the Aswan High Dam. Cairo has changed beyond all recognition. If you Google pictures of the site, someone will have posted a pic of virtually everything that still exists.

Edited: Nov 13, 2014, 11:47am

>96 wcarter:

Wow,Thanks for the information, I know very little about the far end of the east, and couldn't visit these places any time soon. I had try to google some of the temple, famous one like the kalabshe of luxor is easy target. but some remote view of a corner of some places is not easy to google.

Edited: Jul 27, 2012, 1:25am


Jul 27, 2012, 8:17pm

> 94, 96

The Aswan Dam was not the only big project that made a mess if Egypt's history. The temples and statues around some of them are moved just fine but something just does not feel the same.

And especially in the South, you can see where the stones wear off from the tourists in the last century when getting there got cheaper and easier.

The old photographs and pictures done in the past cannot be done anymore- things are not the same; not by a long shot.

Don't get me wrong - it is still a great place to visit and I highly recommend it (if the political scene allows it) - I took my mother on a Nile tour combined with a night train to Cairo and a stop at the Red Sea a few years ago and it was worth it. But it is not what it had been a century ago...

Aug 6, 2012, 10:03pm

I'm strongly considering making this purchase, but I'm very new to purchases of this type. So, I have a couple of questions that I'm hoping someone can answer?

(I did read the thread but if I've somehow missed the answer already being posted, I apologize.)

1) The price is much higher than I would have ever considered paying for this type of item. I know nothing about the secondary market, but would much value be held over time? This would make me feel better about the price, if I could resell for a reasonable price in a reasonable period of time.

2) Seeing the concerns with the binding - what happens if the binding breaks in one year, or 10 years? Is this repairable? Presumably yes - but at what cost? I live in Seattle so presumably would have to ship the book somewhere to be repaired. Is the example of breakage in this thread just an anomaly?

3) I have read about concerns with damage during shipping. How good are Folio about replacements in such a circumstance?

Many thanks in advance!

Aug 6, 2012, 10:56pm

I offer my 2 cents for question 2,3

If the copy you receive has no factory defect, and you handle it carefully, there is no reason to worry about it .

For LE , they use a well made carton that can survive a drop test. shipping damage for this kind of box rarely happen. if anything goes wrong, FS supporting service is 100% satisfaction guaranteed .

Mar 16, 2013, 7:07am

Another one hits the dust - Holy Land, and Egypt and Nubia has just sold out. Now lets see if the resale prices on Abe rise significantly.

Mar 17, 2013, 1:45pm

>102 wcarter:
I guess we will have to wait for a while. They are quite expensive anyway. I'm not sure if there's enough market for them. I'm glad I bought them for 60% of the published price :-)

Mar 17, 2013, 4:52pm

> 103
How on earth did you get a deal like that? Were you just lucky at a bookstore that didn't know how to properly price them? If so, congratulations. I paid full price direct from Folio but have no regrets. They are easily in the Top Three for Folio Limited Editions (it is futile to actually rank the ones I own as the position of a title in the list is completely dependent on that days mood and that month's current reading interest!)

Mar 17, 2013, 5:16pm

>104 UK_History_Fan:
I got lucky on eBay. Also got The Queen Mary Atlas for 40% of the published price. Holy Land books are absolutely stunning and are the second biggest books I own (first being the Atlas and the third place going to The Night Thoughts).

Mar 17, 2013, 6:00pm

Are you in the UK? I've never seen Holy Land and Egypt on eBay before.

Mar 17, 2013, 6:50pm

>106 UK_History_Fan:
Yes, I am in UK. Currently there's one for £890.

Mar 18, 2013, 5:48am

Ahh, so your the lucky member that got it so cheap. Congratulations

May 25, 2013, 12:31pm

Anyone looking to sell their copy? I am interested...

May 30, 2013, 3:17pm

I'm looking to buy too! (I didn't purchase when it was still available, and regret it now).

May 31, 2013, 3:21am

I Buy it from ebay 2 month ago

Sep 21, 2014, 6:28pm

Easton Press is now going to publish a Deluxe Limited Edition of this set:


"This three-volume, hand-numbered Deluxe Limited Edition re-creates the historic 1855 edition with all 250 of the vintage illustrations. Limited to just 800 hand-numbered sets!"

8" x 11 1/4"

I'm really curious how this compares to the Folio Society version. I remember when that came out I was in love... but alas, my wallet frowned upon such an engagement and we parted ways. Also, what's the text-to-illustration ratio? Does the text tell an exciting adventure? History? What?

Edited: Sep 21, 2014, 6:57pm

Seems pretty overpriced. 11 1/4 x 8 is quite a size reduction. I purchased a much cheaper edition, in a slightly larger format, for around $100. Even then I really felt the smallness of it all. The Folio Society elephant folio seems like the way to go...

From what I recall (don't have my copy with me at the moment), the text reads like your typical 19th century travelogue. Lots of detail, plenty of names but no characters, local color, exoticism, and a touch of scholarly condescension towards the natives.

Edited: Sep 21, 2014, 7:49pm

113: How much was the FS edition? Also, what was the size of the volumes? Thanks.

edit: I should add, one of the things that appeals to many Easton Press subscribers is that they use genuine leather for their bindings. Their Deluxe Editions tend to use leather imported from Italy, so it's quite nice. Personally, I like variety in my books so not every book needs nor should be leather. That said, the blue leather looks quite nice... now where do they find those blue cows...?

Sep 21, 2014, 8:49pm

>114 astropi: 20" x 13 3/4" x 2 3/4" thick (in the slipcase) and ~8 kg per volume.

Sep 22, 2014, 12:06am

The FS LE of Robert's Holy Land, and Egypt and Nubia is huge, gorgeous, enormous, vast, weighty, magnificent and totally awe inspiring. There is text accompanying each painting explaining the location and circumstances, as well as a lengthy introduction.
It must be read on a table or lectern, as it is far too big to read on your lap.
It was AU$2150 when released, but would have been much cheaper in the UK.
The EP version will be much smaller, which will detract from the intricately detailed and amazingly accurate pictures.

Sep 22, 2014, 10:21am

116: Honestly, while the FS edition sounds wonderful for someone that wants such a huge edition, right now, something along the EP size is more to my liking. Likewise, I would also love to see a facsimile of Birds of America, but again not in such a huge volume. I seem to recall that the US cost for the Holy Land was around $1500?

Oct 15, 2014, 12:19pm

supercell just pointed out that the FS is releasing The Holy Land in a non-limited edition!


"The Folio Society limited edition of The Holy Land and Egypt and Nubia, which replicated the size of the original edition, was enormously popular and quickly sold out. To make this magnificent collection available to a wider audience, we have published this fine edition, which brings together all 247 lithographs in a smaller format."

Oct 15, 2014, 1:12pm

I am actually excited for a non-limited edition. I know how big the previous LE were...and i own the Japanese LE. I think the more manageable size is a plus.

Nov 28, 2016, 5:41am

For anyone curious about the physical difference between the Limited and Fine Editions of the Holy Land and Egypt & Nubia:




Nov 28, 2016, 5:50am

>120 Rodomontade: Thanks for that striking visual comparison. I see that in the shrinkage of dimensions, the spine obelisks have withstood erosion.

Nov 28, 2016, 1:31pm

>120 Rodomontade: You should put a normal size book out there for comparison. The fine edition is quite large while the LE is huge (though strangely, slightly smaller than the original).