This is a very scarce 1950s guide for English-speaking visitors to Lebanon, including a graphic map of Lebanon. The color-printed folding brochure is filled with scenic photographs from throughout the country, with the interior of the guide dominated by an attractive pictorial map. The map is not dated, but the attractively-painted cover (depicting a stylish, European trekking couple enjoying a vista overlooking a winding coastal road) bears the signature 'B.N. 50.,' suggesting an earliest date of 1950.
The MapThe attractively-rendered map uses color and shading to indicate topography and fertility: the map clearly evokes Lebanon's mountain ranges and the key agricultural area of the Beqaa Valley. The map is decorated with a lovely compass rose embellished with Zodiac signs, and old-fashioned sailing ships are depicted off the coasts of Beirut and Sidon. Roads are shown in orange. The Lebanese railways are shown in black, along the coastline as well as the lines following the old tracks of the Beirut-Damascus and the Rayak-Homs lines.
The BrochureThe descriptive text highlights various tourist-friendly areas, combining useful travel distances, historical and cultural notes, and overflowing, inexpert English prose.
Publication History and CensusThe map was printed by the Catholic Press on behalf of the Tourist Bureau of the Lebanese Government; no individual author or artist is credited. We see no examples listed in institutional collections, and find no instances of the map in dealers' catalogues or auction records.
Catholic Press (fl. 1847-1974) were Beirut's principal publishing outlet. They were founded and operated by the Jesuit order, and appear to have been active until about 1974. They were particularly active in the production of Arab-English dictionaries, but were active in antiquarian, historical and scientific areas as well.
Good condition. Original fold lines with wear at junctures. Small surface mend with no loss.