THE PRIVATELY-PUBLISHED NARRATIVE OF AN ARISTOCRATIC ENGLISHWOMAN’S
TRAVELS THROUGH THE MIDDLE EAST,
ILLUSTRATED WITH HER HUSBAND’S DRAWINGS
Octavo (222 x 140mm), pp. [8 (half- title, title, preface and notice, versos blank)], 141, [1 (blank)], [2 (imprint, verso blank)]. Tinted lithographic frontispiece and 3 tinted lithographic plates by T. Allom after Francis Egerton, printed by C. Hullmandel, and wood-engraved illustrations in the text. (A few light spots, very light offsetting onto title (as often), very light marginal damp-mark on frontispiece.) Original green cloth by Edmonds and Remnants, London with their ticket on the lower pastedown, boards blocked in blind with central cartouche enclosed by borders of rules and dots, spine lettered in gilt and ruled in blind, lemon-yellow endpapers, uncut. (Spine slightly faded, light marking and slight lifting of cloth on boards, extremities a little rubbed and bumped, short superficial splits at spine-ends.) A very good copy in the original cloth.
First and only edition, printed ‘for private circulation only’ to benefit the Ladies’ Hiberian Female School Society. Lady Egerton (1800-1866) and her husband, the politician and poet Francis Egerton (né Leveson-Gower), 1st Earl of Ellesmere (1800-1857), visited the Holy Land during their travels on their yacht around the Mediterranean in the winter and spring of 1839 to 1840, and ‘her journal followed the course she took with her husband, starting at Rome, and finishing on the way home from Rome. Having landed at Jaffa, Lady Egerton went to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho before visiting the Dead Sea, and returning to Jerusalem. She travelled on to Beirut, taking in a range of sites on the way, before making an excursion to Baalbec. Her way back to Italy was by way of Rhodes, Smyrna and Athens. Lady Egerton passed comment on the different religions, and on the Ottoman administration, then the target of much criticism’ (Theakstone). The lithographs which illustrate the book are from Francis Egerton’s original drawings (he later published his own account of these travels in 1843 as Mediterranean Sketches), and the appendix includes details of their routes and the provisions and supplies that they took.
The preface explains that, ‘[t]he profits arising from the sale of this work are for the benefit of the “Ladies’ Hibernian Female School Society,” which was formed in 1823, having, as its sole object, the temporal and eternal interests of the female population of Ireland, by uniting a Scriptural education with those necessary arts of domestic and humble life of which they were, at that time, almost universally ignorant […]. The Society has 232 schools, containing 13,696 scholars; a great proportion of whom are the children of Roman Catholics, who thankfully avail themselves of the instruction afforded them in these Protestant schools. The number of schools would be double, had the Committee funds commensurate with the demands upon them; and the fact that this is the only Society labouring in Ireland for the exclusive benefit of the femalechildren of that country, affords a powerful plea for assistance from British Christians, and particularly from British ladies’ ([A]4r).
Abbey, Travel 384; Blackmer 536; Robinson, Wayward Women, pp. 112-113; Röhricht 1921; Theakstone, p. 90.
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