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WYSE, Sir Thomas.

An Excursion in the Peloponnesus in the Year 1858.

Edited by his Niece, Winifrede M. Wyse.

London: Day & Son, Limited, 1865 Stock Code: 71507
£1,750.00
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Pursuing the Greek Debt

First edition. Wyse was appointed minister-plenipotentiary to Greece in 1849, at the time of his arrival in Athens Greek politics "were complicated and divisive. Each of the three protecting powers that had guaranteed Greek independenceBritain, France, and Russiawishing to advance its interests in the region, became entangled in factional politics" (ODNB) His primary tasks were to "to encourage the government to honour its debts to the protecting powers, and to preserve the territorial integrity of the Ottoman empire from both Greek irredentism and Russian expansion." In 1857 he suggested that a commission be formed "to investigate the financial resources of Greece, since a loan by England, France, and Russia remained outstanding from he time of independence. This entailed much travelling for Wyse and he made numerous reports on the economic and social conditions that he saw. His niece who accompanied him, edited these to form this important work" (Blackmer catalogue). Wyse's habit of offering the Greeks unsolicited advice, and his insistence that his niece be received at court in contravention of protocol, "limited his effectiveness in influencing policy He chaired a commission of the protecting powers that made valuable recommendations about the reformation of Greek finances. He gave the Greek government memoranda on museums, the prison system, the legal system, education, the tax structure, the Orthodox church, and the provision of government buildings. The Greeks ignored all these suggestions."

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Description

2 volumes octavo (252 x 156 mm). Original purple blind-stamped pebble-grained cloth, title gilt to the spine, pale cream endpapers.

Illustrations

Etched frontispiece to each, and 22 similar plates in all, 2 of them folding panoramas - Sparta and Kalamata - folding map, wood-cut illustrations to the text.

Condition

A little rubbed, corners bumped, neat repairs on the joints and at the headcaps, light toning, a scatter of foxing, but overall a very good set.

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