MAC FARLANE, Charles. Constantinople in 1828. A residence of sixteenth months in the Turkish capital and privinces... [etc.], London, Saunders and Otley, MDCCCXXIX [=1829].
Charles Macfarlane (1799-1858) was a Scottish writer. He earned his living by writing works of a diverse nature. Macfarlane travelled to Portugal at a very young age, published his poems in 1820 and spent a great part of his youth in Italy (1816-1827).
Macfarlane reached Smyrna by way of Cesme and toured Chios, Erythraea and northern Asia Minor, visiting Sardes, Magnesia and Pergamon, at the time of the Battle of Navarino (October 1827). He spent 1828 in Istanbul and then returned to Britain. He returned to the Ottoman Empire with his son in 1847 and wrote several novels inspired by life in the Ottoman East. He collaborated with John Murray's publishing house for many years.
Macfarlane's chronicle owes a lot to earlier travel accounts and to his contemporary, R. Walsh. However, as he states, he wanted to compose an original account, and hardly omitted any aspect of social and private life from his account. Thus, monuments, markets, commerce, the diverse ethinicities, ports, popular beliefs, music and education, the life of women and political events of the time all have a place in his description. Macfarlane was able to insightfully outline the major changes taking place in Ottoman administration and society in the early 19th century.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou