EMERSON TENNENT, James (Sir). Letters from the Aegean Sea, by James Emerson, Esq, in two volumes, London, Henry Colburn, 1829.
Sir James Emerson Tennent (1804-1869) was an Irish politician. He studied in his native Belfast and in Trinity College, Dublin, where he became a doctor in Law. A fervent supporter of the Greek Revolution, he travelled to Greece and published a number of works on this country such as “Picture of Greece” (1826), “Letters from the Aegean” (1829), and “History of Modern Greece” (1830). Emerson Tennent became active in poltics and was elected in the House of Commons in 1832. In 1843 he was knighted and appointed colonial secretary of Ceylon, modern-day Sri Lanca. A prolific author, he wrote and published books on the natural history and commerce of Ceylon, and was a frequent contributor to various reviews.
With this work, Emerson Tennent achieved a fusion between travel narrative and political dialogue, at the same time incorporating information from other sources besides his personal experience. He started his journey in Sounion and continued on to Syros, Chios, Smyrna, Ephesus and the inland of Asia Minor, visiting some of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. The second volume of the work narrates his tour of Phocaea, Samos, Patmos, Symi, Castelorizo and the Lycian coast. The last four chapters record his travels to Santorini, Sikinos, Ios, Naxos, Paros, Antiparos, Myconos, Delos, Milos and Kimolos, all of the above being trips he made in various excursions and at different times.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou