The Englishman John Carne (1789-1844) was the son of a merchant and banker. In 1820 he published anonymously a collection of his poems and in 1821 he travelled to the East, visiting Constantinople, Greece, Egypt and the Holy Land. On his way back from the monastery of Saint Catherine in Sinai, he was captured by a Bedouin tribe but was released after a few days. Carne published accounts of his travels in a series of articles in the "New Monthly Magazine", which were later published in a single volume. He frequented the literary circles of his time and published seven more multi-volume works, mainly literary texts, from 1829 until his sudden death in 1844, while planning another trip to the Mediterranean.
The present album was the fruit of Carne’s collaboration with the Fischer publishing house, and was part of a project for a series of illustrated publications on the Ottoman Empire. Here Carne’s texts accompany drawings by W.H. Bartlett, W. Purser and T. Allom, depicting monuments and locations in Syria, the Holy Land and Asia Minor. Bartlett must have travelled in the East for the first time from 1834 to 1835. In the third volume there are drawings by Allom, who most probably travelled in the region from 1836 to 1837. Like "Constantinople and the Scenery of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor", circulated by the same publishing house, this work was reprinted and copied, and the prints are usually sold in auctions as loose leaves.
The album contains views of the Holy Land, Lebanon, Damascus, Rhodes, Syros, Alexandria, Tripolis, Aleppo in Syria, Cilicia, Antioch and other places of pilgrimage in the Eastern Mediterranean, both Christian and Muslim, as well as a map of Asia Minor and greater Syria.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou