Travels in Circassia, Krim Tartary, &c.
including a steam voyage down the Danube, from Vienna to Constantinople and round the Black Sea in 1836. London Henry Colburn 1837
First edition. Two volumes, 8vo, pp. xxxvii, [1, list of illustrations], 355, [1, printer's device], [8, publisher's adverts]; xiii, [1, list of illustrations], 425, [1, blank], [2, publisher's adverts]; with 4 lithographed plates, 2 of which are hand-coloured frontispieces, 2 folding maps, 5 pages of engraved music, and 17 engraved illustrations in the text. A very good copy in original cloth, blind frame and panelling to boards, gilt lettering and illustration to spine. Corners and spine bumped, cloth slightly faded, upper inner hinge of volume one fragile, lower joint of volume two has a small split but firm. Light foxing, 4cm tear (neatly repaired) to hinge of larger folding map not affecting map surface.
Abbey 354; Atabey 1164 (third edition); Blackmer 1580 (third edition)
This work is an interesting account of Ottoman Turkey and Russia at a time of increasing military tension by prolific nineteenth-century travel author Edmund Spencer. This is the first of four accounts Spencer eventually published about his numerous travels through the Caucuses during the peak period of the Russia-Circassian War. Spencer is credited with many early descriptive reports of regions such as Albania and Galicia, and claims in his preface that this work is the first travel account of Circassia. This work is made up of letters written along the journey, as opposed to a retrospective account, and so is comparatively unfiltered in his often wry observations, whether that be an elaborate harem maintained at Istanbul by an expatriate Englishman, or the prevalence of fever in the Russian border forts. He is generally sympathetic towards the plight of the region and of the Circassian people in the aim of being an "independent writer" despite being a close friend of Count Worrenzow, the Russian governor-general of the area. He makes sure to include a brief vocabulary of common Circassian words, an attempt to translate the popular Circassian war-song into English, and most impressively a copy of the Circassian declaration of independence issued in opposition to growing Russian military actions. The monochrome lithographs were drawn "on stone" by T.G. Dutton and F. Sexton, based off the author's sketches, and were produced by Friedels' Lithographers (est. 15 Southampton Street, Strand), as were the maps. But the coloured lithograph frontispiece of the first volume was drawn by A.L. Molinari, from an author's sketch, and produced "from Zinc" by Day & Haghe, Lithographers to the King. The coloured lithograph frontispiece of the second volume has no credits given.