Sunday, October 1, 2017

Book cover & inscriptions: Life and Adventures of Hajji Baba

  • Title (deep breath): The Life and Adventures of the Celebrated Oriental Traveler, Hajji Baba, in Persia, Turkey and Russia, Comprising His Caravan Travels, Encounters with Robbers, His Curious Performances as Soldier, Water Carrier, Pipe Seller, Dervish, Courtier, Doctor, Executioner, Lover, and Marriage Broker, and His Final Elevation to the Rank of Shah's Deputy, and Secretary of the Persian Ambassador to England. With Numerous Episodes and Incidents Illustrating Life in Persia.
  • Title (per the cover): Life and Adventures of Hajji Baba
  • Should we just go with the cover title? Yes.
  • Editor: James Justinian Morier (1780-1849)
  • Publisher: John E. Potter and Company, 617 Sansom Street, Philadelphia.
  • Year of publication: Not listed. No later than 1890. Circa 1885 seems likely.
  • Pages: 405
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Best chapter title: "LVII. An Extraordinary Adventure in the Bath"
  • Excerpts from preface: "'The Adventures of Hajji Baba' is one of the most popular works published in Great Britain, where it has gone through many editions, and has already attained the position of a standard work. ... The work certainly deserves all the popularity which it enjoys with the reading public. The hero of the tale, Hajji Baba, is a sort of Persian Gil Blas. ... This edition is reprinted entire from the latest London edition, with the author's last corrections."
  • First sentence: "My father, Kerbelai Hassan, was one of the most celebrated barbers of Ispahan."
  • Last sentence: "Need I say more?"
  • Notes: To be clear, this book is fiction. The novel was first published by Morier in 1824 under the title The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan. A sequel, The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan in England, followed in 1828. The 1954 CinemaScope movie The Adventures of Hajji Baba is based on the book. It starred John Derek in the title role.
  • Inscriptions: A gorgeous, full-color presentation page was bound with the novel and is pictured below. This copy was presented to William H. Noble by his mother, Ada W. Noble, on October 13, 1890. On a separate page, the book is listed as belonging to Homer Noble of Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. That's the same person. William H. Noble was William Homer Noble, who lived from 1876 to 1933, according to his gravestone. His mother Ada outlived him, dying in 1941.

1 comment:

  1. See William Homer Noble's "alternate gravestone" and a "research conflict" here:

    William had several younger siblings, one of whom was named Fred N. Noble (born 1884 or 1885; died 1951). Sources: and

    Fred had three sons (nephews of William). One was named Ward O. Noble (1920 to 1973). Ward's widow was Doris M. (Kepler) Noble, who died in 2012. Source:$2C+Doris+M.$2C+$28Kepner$29$2C+$2822+Feb+1925+-+23+Nov+2012$29$2C+aged+87.pdf

    One of their sons (a grand-nephew of William) was Gregory L. Noble, who died in 2013. Source:

    A daughter (grand-niece of William) is Gay Gallagher of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. She can be reached here:

    Reuniting family with their forebears' ephemera is a joy.

    -- M.F.