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  • Item Category: Books, Paper & Magazines
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: May 08, 2011
  • Channel: Auction House


KING ZOG'S ALBANIA. BY J. SWIRE. New York: Liveright Publishing Company, 1927. First Edition. Rare.

A nice First Edition of this rare and fascinating book about Albania and its King. This thick book has many vintage photographs. Published 84 years ago, this book is now long out-of-print and rare, selling for between $86 and $145. This book should be at least as valuable. Such a nice First Edition book is not likely to come up for sale again soon on ebay.

From Chapter I: "Twelve years ago Albania was almost untravelled ground, to most people an empty name, to our daily newspapers, a strange land which was advertising for a king. My curiosity drove me there in March, 1924...It was from Corfu that I first sighted Albania-the rugged Acroceraunian mountains beyond the straits, their snowy summits pink in the last sun...The cliffs and scarps of the Himara coast were black under a pall of clouds which wrapped the heights from sight as the little Italian boat that bore me best up the coast in a gale. Early next morning we anchored off Durres, a sad place between grey sky and grey sea. I went ashore in a bobbing cockleshell rowed by two ruffians who would have drawn a crowd in the chamber of horrors at Madame Tussaud's; and the peasants in their shaggy black sheepskin cloaks and black brimless hats seemed to promise a wild hinderland. It was a jumble of squat stone or crazy mud-brick houses threaded by cobbed alleys. A companion led to a crowded restaurant furnished with rickety wooden tables and benches, the floor of it littered with sawdust and spittoons and the walls decorated with tawdry prints of Prince Wilhelm of Wied and Princess Sophie, a large Albanian flag...and a bearskin. We breakfasted upon a meat stew and black coffee, then I made my way to the British Legation..."

Contents include: My introduction to Albania; Some towns and their history; Skenderbeg; Clans and chieftains; Great mountain land; Low country; Himara and lion; King Zog and his capital; Where all ruled; In the southern mountains; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.

According to wikipedia: " Zog I, Skanderbeg III of the Albanians [1 ][ 2] ( Albanian : Zogu , IPA: [ˈzɔɡu] ; 8 October 1895 – 9 April 1961), born Ahmet Muhtar Bej Zogolli , was King of the Albanians from 1928 to 1939. He was previously Prime Minister of Albania (1922–1924) and President of Albania (1925–1928)....On 1 September 1928 General Zogu was crowned King of the Albanians ( Mbret i Shqiptar�ve in Albanian ), and declared Field Marshal of the Royal Albanian Army on the same day. He proclaimed a constitutional monarchy similar to the contemporary regime in Italy , created a strong police force, and instituted the Zogist salute (flat hand over the heart with palm facing downwards). He claimed to be a successor of Skanderbeg , through descent through Skanderbeg's sister. Zog hoarded gold coins and precious stones, which were used to back Albania's first paper currency .

Zog's mother, Sadije, was declared Queen Mother of Albania, and Zog also gave his brother and sisters Royal status as Prince and Princesses Zogu. One of his sisters, Senije, Princess Zogu (c1897–1969), married His Imperial Highness Prince Shehzade Mehmed Abid Efendi of Turkey, a son of Sultan Abdul Hamid II .Zog attempted to reinforce his regime's legitimacy further by ruling as a constitutional monarch . His kingdom's constitution forbade any Prince of the Royal House from serving as Prime Minister or a member of the Cabinet and contained provisions for the potential extinction of the Royal Family. Ironically, in light of later events, the constitution also forbade the union of the Albanian throne with that of any other country. Under the Zogist constitution, the King of the Albanians, like the King of the Belgians , exercised Royal powers only after taking an oath before Parliament; Zog himself swore an oath on the Bible and the Qur'an (the king being Muslim ) in an attempt to unify the country.In 1929, King Zog abolished Islam...