[N.p., Berlin? after 1859].
Ink on paper in fine regular hand, 22 lines in deutsche Kurrentschrift (with occasional footnotes). 512 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. On the road, 1835-40: Pashas, Emirs, Germans, Russians, wolves, & panthers. Mid-nineteenth-century brown cloth, upper cover titled in gilt. Modern reback in tan cloth. Clean and sound. Item #314588
Monumental manuscript itinerary of travels throughout the Ottoman Empire, Persia, Russia, Central Asia, and Afghanistan, during the years 1835 to July 1840, in the heated middle years of the “Great Game.” These “Recollections of Travel” of A. W. B. M. were written down by an unidentified scribe, circa 1859 (from internal evidence). The spellings of place names are consistent but often idiosyncratic; the narrator is a man 5 feet 10 inches tall, identified throughout only as B. He meets Persian princes in exile; Englishmen, among them Henry Stuart, William Knight, and Col. Bethune; Swiss merchants Scheitlin and Gonzenbach (based in Smyrna); Armenians, other Germans, Russians, wolves, panthers, pashas, emirs, and others in authority.
B. travels from Vienna to Galacz in Wallachia, taking part in a daylong wolf hunt during his two weeks there, then by steamer Marie-Dorothée to Constantinople (56). In January , he joins a party heading to Baghdad (64) by way of Ephesus, with mention of the steamboat Euphrates (86-87), the first British steam navigation of the river. In Smyrna, there is mention of the Vixen affair, smuggling weapons and munitions to the Circassians in “Abchasien”. B. travels through Diyarbakir and Mosul to Kermanshah, meeting Yezidis and Kurds; and at the border of the Nejd pashalik, he meets Wahhabis, “whom one can describe as Moslem Puritans” (124-5).
B. travels in Lebanon and Damascus, sees the ruins of St. Jean d’Acre and Balbek, before proceeding to Basra and the Shat al-Arab. B. is accompanied by his trusty horse Ruskiar on these peregrinations through Persia, via Tabriz, Resht, Tehran, and Mashhad, to Kabul. B. is presented to the newly triumphant Dost Muhammad Khan and to his son Muhammad Akbar Khan, whom B. accompanies on an Afghan hunting party in Siahkoh (156-62). By the summer of 1837 he is back in Persia (219-46), thence to Kurdistan and back to Smyrna. Sadly his horse Ruskiar, gift of Yacoub Pascha von Aidin, is destroyed when B. lends it to an Englishman (263-4).
B. is is Tiflis in the summer of 1838, where he meets again General von Rosen, then facing Schamyl’s resistance to Russian forces (288-300); with Major von Sacken, he travels to Baku, and then accompanies von Sacken to Kiachta in Siberia, near Lake Baikal (309-328). B. returns to Tiflis and thence to Kertsch (Kerch), where he enters the service of Herr von Meyer (331), a Russian baron. He visits Yekaterinburg, and eventually decides to return to Asia Minor, by way of Batum, arriving in Constantinople at the end of August 1839. Later travels are chiefly in the Balkans, in Serbia, Moldau, and the Siebenbürgen region of Transylvania.
A remarkable manuscript account.
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