JEWISH LIFE IN THE NEAR EAST A PRESENTATION COPY

A residence at Constantinople, in the year 1827. With notes to the present time.

New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1830. 12mo. xii, 372 pp. FIRST EDITION. With folding frontispiece showing the south side of Constantinople and a large hand-colored folding map of parts of Greece and Turkey.Half-calf and marbled boards; light foxing, and with one small tear on the frontispiece due to one of the folds. Inscribed on the front free end-paper by the author to Ann Stebbins, dated Dec. 1829. Item #14995

First edition. This fascinating travel account was almost never to be. The author, an American missionary, had originally intended to go to Jerusalem “with the view of investigating the condition of the Jews.” But due to the unrest in that part of the world, his journey was diverted to Turkey where he learned the native languages and imbedded himself in Turkish society. Presented in the form of letters, this work contains detailed accounts of Gibraltar, Malta, Smyrna (now Izmir), Constantinople, Princes’ Island, and other nearby locales. Of particular interest is the author’s investigation of Jewish life in Turkey, the Mediterranean, and Asia, including a collection of others’ accounts as well as his own observations. His writing is not merely a summation of Jewish life and rituals, but describes how different ethnic groups and religions in the area interacted - both tolerantly and intolerantly - in the early nineteenth century. A valuable and unusual work.

Brewer (1796-1872), a graduate of Yale in 1821, was an American missionary in the area that is now Izmir, Turkey. He was the first to introduce schools and the printing-press there, establishing both the first newspaper as well as a girls’ school, which served as a model for European education in the Turkish empire. He later returned to America where he founded a girls’ school in Connecticut. He was the father of United States Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer (1837-1910).

Price: $550.00

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