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Travels in European Turkey.

Compiled from the Best Authorities.

Dublin: P. Dixon Hardy, 1833 Stock Code: 141646
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First edition of this scarce little book, presented here in a very nice example of a period trade binding. This is one of several travelogues issued by the Dublin publisher P. Dixon Hardy, either solely or as Bentham & Hardy; using a fictional framework, it gives a panorama of Turkish society, culture, and government.

The narrative centres around the figure of "Mr. James Rowley", a London-based "Turkey merchant of extensive business and high reputation" (p. 17). Mr. Rowley arrived in Turkey in 1827 to review his businesses in Smyrna, the Levant, Constantinople and the Black Sea, in the wake of the decisive allied victory at the naval battle at Navarino (20 October 1827), during the Greek War of Independence. The text describes Turkey's current situation and prospects, manners and customs, and although it focuses on the European part of the Ottoman Empire including Bulgaria, Greece and Transylvania, extensive sections are devoted to Constantinople. The quite graphic nature of some descriptions (capital punishment, pp. 90-92; the killing and dismemberment of Ali Pasha of Ioannina, p. 111) and the general style of writing suggest that this has often been wrongly categorised as juvenilia.

Provenance: ownership inscription to front free endpaper, "C. Wykeham Martin, Leeds Castle". This is Charles Wykeham Martin (1801-70), Eton and Oxford-educated Conservative MP and Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, whose family acquired Leeds Castle from Robert Fairfax in 1793, substantially remodelling it in a Tudor style. He was the author of History and Description of Leeds Castle (1869).

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Duodecimo (138 x 79 mm). Contemporary tree sheep, gilt banded smooth spine, black label lettered "Turkey", red speckled edges.


Wood-engraved frontispiece and 3 plates (Constantinople, Mosque of Saint Sophia, Convent of Meteora, Turkish Costume).


Binding just a little rubbed, short split at foot of front joint. A very good copy, clean and bright.


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