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NAPIER, Charles James. Memoir on the Roads of Cefalonia…, Accompanied by Statistical Tables, State of the Thermometer, &c. &c. &c. London, Printed for James Ridway,1825.

Charles James Napier (1782-1853) was a British Army officer and politician. He visited Corfu in 1819 as an emissary of the British authorities. In 1820 he was on an undercover mission in Giannina, then ruled by Ali Pasha, and in 1821 he became a fervent supporter of the Greek Struggle for Independence. Twenty years later, Napier became quite active in the politics of India and modern-day Pakistan. In 1822, Napier was sent from Corfu to Cephalonia, where he served as governor for eight years, ruling as an absolute monarch. Nevertheless, he saw to the construction of roads on the island and the improvement of various institutions. It was there that he met Lord Byron, who was on his way to insurgent Greece.

This most interesting memorandum concerns Cephalonia's road system and contains Napier's proposals for its improvement. The text also describes the antiquities of the island, with citations from Latin authors. Napier also makes various suggestions, budget included, on reinforcing the fortifications of Argostoli, the draining of marshes, and the building of prisons and military lodgings. At the end of the text, he provides detailed temperature charts for every trimester, as well as demographic tables on twenty villages of Cephalonia, with data on the population, occupations, buildings and equipment, springs and torrents, local products, fauna and fishing fleets. Napier was also the author of "The War in Greece" (1821), "Greece in 1824 and Τhe Colonies… of the Ionian islands especially…" (1833).

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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