Algeria, Morocco, Morocco Agency, Spanish Morocco, Gibraltar, Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, and Greece: : Round-the World Society, 1925-1926. Loose-leaf binder. This collection of 57 pieces of correspondence (41 mimeographed letters numbered XLIII through LXXXIII and 16 post cards) and six half-tone photographic enclosures is housed in a 6.75” x 9.5” two-screw, loose-leaf, leatherette binder with embossed title and decoration. In addition to the letters and cards, the binder contains a sailing ship frontispiece, title page, forward, and fold-out map of the world. The numbered letters have been punched to fit the binder and are inserted chronologically; the postcards are laid-in at appropriate points in the chronological sequence. Everything is in very nice shape; the letters have some minor edge-wear. Very good. Item #009015
Raymond formed the Round-the Word Society and offered to send letters “from the mighty metropolises of European civilization, from the squalid villages of African savagery, from the icy wastes of the Artic, [and] from the barren sands of the deserts” to all who subscribed to his service. It’s unknown how many people subscribed to become members of the Society. The number of different letters sent by Raymond is also unclear as, based on the varying numbers and letter locations/dates in extant binders, it appears few, if any, individuals subscribed for the entire length of Raymond’s journey. It is known that he began his travels in early July of 1925 and they continued to at least November of 1926 when he mailed letter number LXXXIII (83). While in Morocco, Raymond also began offering a picture postcard service for an additional fee. However as no extant binders other than this one contain his postcards, it would appear few of the Society members added this option to their subscription. Each of Raymond’s letters consist of three pages, and all have captivating titles such as “In the Nest of Pirates,” “The Dancing Nigger is in Town,” “With the Spanish Army in the Riff,” “Old Vesuvius Still has a Kick or Two,” etc. The contents are equally fascinating, as Raymond paints vivid word pictures of the people, culture, history, and current events of the places he visits. Coupled with the picture postcards, this binder provides a remarkable illustrated description of the world in the mid-1920s. As of 2018, there are four other binders (with different letter groupings) for sale in the trade; none of them include Raymond’s postcards. Two auction records for binders (also without any postcards) are listed at ABPC and the Rare Book Hub. OCLC shows only one binder (also without postcards) held by an institution.