The Natural History of Aleppo containing a description of the city, and the principal natural productions in its neighbourhood. Together with an account of the climate, inhabitants, and diseases particularly of the plague. TWO VOLUMES.

Russell, Alexander. 1714-1768.

Book ID: 32382


4to. Volume I: xxiv, 446 pp., xxiii appendix, 4 steel engraved folding plates, 1 plan / Volume II: vii, 430 pp., xxxiv appendix, [25 index], [1 errata], 15 plates numbered I-XVI (plates 1 and 2 on one page), of which 2 are folding, contemporary full calf, professionally restored with new spine for Volume I, red label on spine with gilt title, modern full calf for Volume II, Bookplate of Rob. Fellowes verso front covers, 13 pages Restored, glue-stained round margins at beginning and end, occasional light browning, second edition, revised, enlarged, and illustrated with notes by Patrick Russell, Printed for G. G. & J. Robinson, London, 1794.


The second edition which was first published in 1756. Alexander Russell worked as physician at the British factory in Aleppo from 1740 to 1753. He learned to speak Arabic fluently and gained great influence with the Pasha and the natives. His work on Aleppo is fascinating, ‘one of the most complete pictures of Eastern manners extant’ according to Pinkerton in his Travels. Russell returned to London in 1755, and the next year saw the first edition of his work. His brother Patrick, who eventually took over as physician at the factory, had joined him in Aleppo in 1750. Patrick Russell revised and enlarged the original work. The section on the domestic life of the Turk was much expanded, and new plates were added. The illustrations in this work are very handsome; the botanical plates are by G.D. Ehret; the unsigned animal plates are presumed to be by Russell himself.
“In addition to extensive and detailed descriptions of flora and fauna as well as the climate in the region of Aleppo, the work contains interesting information about the daily life of the local population. Exceptional detail of the lives of the residents in Aleppo, European merchants, the organization of their trading colonies, their handling of the locals and the social life portrayed within the trading colony. Equally interesting, the detailed and unusual for the travel literature on the Ottoman Empire, the representations of the education system, the production of manuscripts and their trade in Aleppo and Syria.”
Bibliographic references: Blackmer 1458; Rohricht, 1460. Cox I, 227 Chatzipanagioti -Sang Master 893 .

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