WALPOLE, Robert (ed.). Memoirs relating to European and Asiatic Turkey; edited from Manuscript Journals, by Robert Walpole, M.A. The Second Edition, London, for Longman, Hurst…, 1818.
Early nineteenth-century travellers had devoted themselves to studying ancient and contemporary Greece, in the period before the War of Independence. Robert Walpole (1781-1856), a descendant of Sir Robert Walpole, first Earl of Oxford, also considered the first Prime Minister of Great Britain, voyaged to the East around 1803 and returned in 1808. Walpole gathered together in a first precious edition (1817) texts and studies mainly on Greek antiquities. Two enriched re-editions followed in 1818 and 1820.
Most of the texts in Walpole's volume were not published elsewhere or independently. This edition includes in addition to Walpole's articles on various subjects (funerary practices, fishing techniques, ancient Greek vases), the following:
Texts by J.B.S. Moritt on the Mani region and by naturalist Dr John Sibthorp on the Mani, Cyprus, Attica and Central Greece (Cithaeron, Livadeia, Delphi, Hosios Loukas, etc.) as well as on the medicinal flora of the land, olive groves in Zacynthos and various subjects of everyday life (local products, fauna, customs).
An article by Dr P. Hunt on Troy and Assos, and a most interesting text by the same author on Mount Athos and the monastery libraries there.
A letter by J.D. Carlyle and a study by H. Raikes on Lake Copais, the sinkholes, the Euripus Strait, Rhamnus and the Coryceion Cave.
A study by Colonel Squire on the military architecture of the ancient Greeks and on the Plain of Marathon, the Isthmus of Corinth and the antiquities of Boeotia and Phocis.
An article by Mr Davison on the pyramids of Egypt, the catacombs in Alexandria, contemporary customs and practices in Egypt, as well as Captain Light's account of his journey to Nubia.
The Earl of Aberdeen's most interesting text on the mines of Laurion and ancient coinage, and his article on the bas-reliefs from Amyclae.
Studies by J. Hawkins on the topography of Athens, based on information provided by French consul L. Fauvel, and Walpole's own articles on the Vale of Tempe and the Euripus.
The edition also includes a panoramic view of Athens by W. Haygarth, a map of Troy and commentaries on ancient inscriptions. Walpole's pioneering idea of collecting in one volume a number of small chronicles and essays which could not have been published individually, preserved and transmitted information that would otherwise have remained scattered, as family heirlooms or as manuscripts in private collections.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou