Philip Sassoon. Dust jacket, endpapers and cover device by Rex Whistler.
William Heinemann. London. 1929. First edition. Inscribed by Sassoon in ink on the first blank leaf - 'Mr. Dorey from his friend Philip Sassoon'. Hardback, octavo; pale-blue buckram-bound boards, gilt titles and device to front board and spine, dust jacket. viii, 291 pages. 25 hors texte illustrations and one folding map. English. 225 x 155mm. 0.75kg. . Good, in good dust jacket; light shelf wear to boards, foxing to prelims, page edges, and margins of some pages; heavy foxing and browning to dust jacket, light wear to edges with a few small nicks, not price-clipped, pencil notations to flaps.
Philip Sassoon's personal account of his celebrated 17,000 mile flying tour in 1928 of British overseas air stations in his capacity as Air Minister. He visited Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Iraq, India and Malta. The aim of the tour was two-fold - firstly, to inspect the Empire's network of air bases; secondly, to test the new air route to India with a view to opening it up to civilians. The title Third Route refers to this new passage to India which, in Sassoon's view, followed on from Vasco da Gama and the Suez Canal. Rex Whistler's map illustrates these three routes and is reproduced on the dust jacket and endpapers. Sassoon and Whistler knew each other well and in the year following publication Whistler began work on the elaborate trompe l'oeil "tent" mural in the dining room of Sassoon's Port Lympe home. The aerial photographs reproduced in the book offered readers a fresh vantage point to the world's archaeological sites and cities. All proceeds from the book were given to the Royal Air Force Memorial Fund. T.E. Lawrence wrote to Sassoon after reading his copy - 'Yesterday I re-read your Third Route (in my usual fashion, which is to toss through a new book in an hour, first time and if it seems to ask for more, to go through it again slowy, after a fortnight). Yours did definitely ask for it.' (letter dated 15 May 1929). Scarce with the Whistler dust jacket. [Further reading: Whistler, Laurence & Ronald Fuller, 'The Work of Rex Whistler', 1960, no. 422; Collins, Damian, 'Charmed Life. The Phenomenal World of Philip Sassoon', 2016, p.183, 195-6]