Account of travels in Palestine and Syria during the Napoleonic campaigns

Spilsbury, F[rancis] B. Picturesque scenery in the Holy Land and Syria, delineated during the campaigns of 1799 and 1800. Second edition.

London, B. R. Howlett for Thomas McLean, 1819.

Folio (500 x 350 mm). IV, 42 pp. With 19 aquatints by Edward Orme after sketches by Spilsbury in original hand colour. Contemporary half cloth with red boards and printed label to upper cover.


Second edition of English naval surgeon Francis Spilsbury’s account of his travels in Palestine and Syria during the Napoleonic campaigns there, with 19 finely hand-coloured folio aquatint views. Spilsbury was surgeon on board HMS Tigre during the campaigns of 1799 and 1800. The Tigre brought Sir William Sidney Smith to defend Acre against Napoleon’s siege, and led a naval force in support of Turkish armies which finally relieved Acre, and his text gives some account of the military campaigns and the Turkish dignitaries. In his reminiscences Napoleon accused Smith of making him miss his destiny, as Smith’s timely appearance thwarted Napoleon’s drive to invade Syria and forced him to retreat to Egypt. The views are mostly connected with the coastal towns of modern Lebanon and Israel, though several are from Spilsbury’s travels inland to meet the Grand Vizier in charge of the Turkish army, Jezzar Pacha, and other dignitaries. First published in folio in 1803, with a mezzotint portrait of Sir William Sidney Smith that was not included in this second edition; a third followed in 1823.

Some staining to covers; aquatints are perfectly preserved.


Tooley 464. Cf. Atabey 1168f. Blackmer 1585. Abbey, Travel 381. Colas 2788. Weber II, 835. Aboussouan 852.