Rare book about Iraq donated to Thame bookshop

Iraq - War in Time - a rare book donated to Oxfam Bookshop in Thame
Iraq - War in Time - a rare book donated to Oxfam Bookshop in Thame

A rare book about Iraq during the First World War has been found in an anonymously donated box of books at the Oxfam Bookshop in Thame.

‘War in Iraq’ was published in 1918 at the end of the First World War and is a collection of photographs of the people, events and places in Iraq and Central Arabia in 1918.

It is thought to be the first photographically illustrated book of the region.

The book was written by Harry St John Bridger Philby, an orientalist, explorer and intelligence officer.

His son Kim was part of the Cambridge Five, a group of five spies who passed information to the Soviet Union during the early 1950s.

Following consultation with Bonham’s, an auctioneers based in London, a selling price of £1,500 was determined.

The book was published in 1918 to mark the signing of the Armistice.

Shop manager Dick Jennens said; “We are delighted to find this book donated to the shop and are proud of our volunteer team who spied the book and undertook the research.

“We put the book on to our online shop and sold it to a customer in France.

“That is brilliant for us and shows the power of the internet.

“It is the second most valuable book that we have sold.

“The most valuable was a first edition of the novel Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier which went to auction and sold for £1,800.

“We get so many thousands of books every week so we can’t remember what other books were in that box!”