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Life on the Bosphorus. Doings in the City of the Sultan. Turkey, Past and Present including Chronicles of the Caliphs from Mahomet to Abdul Hamid II.
London: H.S Nichols, 1895 - Octavo. Original red combed cloth, elaborately gilt on spine and both boards, top edge gilt, pale yellow endpapers. Spine a little sunned and slightly crumpled head and tail with minor chipping, free endpapers browned, but otherwise a clean, sound and bright copy. Tissue-guarded frontispiece and 55 other similar plates, folding coloured map, numerous illustrations to the text. First edition. Uncommon, just 7 locations on Copac. This copy inscribed on the front free endpaper, "Capt. T.H. Tizard RN. With the sincere regards of the Author. W.J.J. Spry, Therapia, Southsea, June 1901". Spry had served on the famous Challenger Expedition - described by John Murray, who published the official account as "the greatest advance in the knowledge of our planet since the celebrated discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries" - as Engineering Sub-Lieutenant, and had published a best-selling account of their exploits which ran to ten editions by the end of the nineteenth century. The recipient, Capt. Thomas Henry Tizard, was senior assistant surveyor on the Challenger, and the co-author of the official narrative of the expedition. Spry offers this as a popular history reducing "to the simplest elements what I think may be really curious in the history, manners and customs of the people the materials for the most part are possibly too well known to many of my readers. I have, however, extracted from some of the best European authors matter of an interesting character, and have described scenes which came under my personal observation during my sojourn in the City of Sultans, as well as narrated by some of the tales of travellers and old residents with whom I was brought in contact" (preface). Spry was chief engineer on HMS Antelope at the time of the arrival of the marquess of Dufferin and Ava in Constantinople as ambassador, and he attended Dufferin's audience with the Sultan as part of the ambassadorial suite, which is here recounted, alongside numerous other interesting anecdotes, with Spry's characteristic "flair for detail" (Corfield, The Silent Landscape, p.17). An appealing work with an attractive association. Not in Atabey or Blackmer; Burrell lot 292; [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2015-10-05           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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