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TURCICA: Considérations sur la guerre actuelle des Turcs: par Mr. de Volney. Zoom

TURCICA: Considérations sur la guerre actuelle des Turcs: par Mr. de Volney.


A book on the Ottoman Empire and its relations with Russia, France and the Balkans was written in the year of breakout of a Russo-Turkish war in 1788, and is based on the personal notes of a orientalist Constantin François Volney, later accused by John Adams' administration in the United States of being a French spy. Bound in a decorative contemporary calf binding.

Author: Constantin François VOLNEY (1757-1820).
Place and Year: London (but actually Paris) 1788.
Code: 65797

8°, 140 pp., copper engraved folding map (26 x 35,5 cm / 10.2 x 13.9 inches), [2] blank pages, contemporary calf binding with embossed gilt decoration on covers, spine decorated with green and white leather, with gilt embossed title and ornaments, contemporary marbled endpapers (Very Good, removed bookplate from the inner side of the cover, first pages slightly stained in the lower part).


A book in French language discusses the future of the Ottoman Empire and its relations with its ally France, as well as its enemy Russia, who in 1788 declared another war on the Ottoman Empire together with Austria. The author, orientalist and traveller in the Middle East Constantin François Volney touches the problem of the Ottoman Egypt, French economy and the Balkans. After Volney’s opinion the brake up of the Ottoman Empire would be a best solution for the French economy, Egypt and life of people in the Ottoman Empire. The folding map bound at the end of the book shows new potential borders on the Balkans after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.    

The author Constantin François de Chassebœuf, comte de Volney (1757-1820) was a French politician, philosopher, abolitionist, historian, and orientalist. In the late 1782 he travelled to Ottoman Egypt, where he spent more than six months. After he lived for nearly two years in what is today Lebanon and Israel/Palestine.

De Volney returned to France in 1785, where he published two books, based on his notes: Voyage en Egypte et en Syrie (1787), and Considérations sur la guerre des Turcs et de la Russie (1788). The book was printed in Paris in 1788, but gives intentionally a wrong information it was printed in London (Emil Weller, Die falschen und fingirten Druckorte, 1864, Vol. 2, p. 235).

In 1795 Constantin François Volney undertook a journey to the United States, where, in 1797, he was accused by John Adams' administration of being a French spy. Consequently, he returned to France, where he published Tableau du climat et du sol des États-Unis (1803).


References: Joseph Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches, Pest 1832, p. 376; A. H. L. Heeren, Handbuch der Geschichte des europäischen Staatensystems und seiner Colonien, Göttingen 1819, p. 640; Johann Melchior Hartmann – Johann David Ludewig Heß, Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen von 1783 bis 1822, Göttingen 1829, Vol. 7, p. 445; Christoph Wilhelm Lüdeke, Beschreibung des türkischen Reiches nach seiner Religions- und ..., Leipzig 1789, Vol. 3, pp. 253ff; Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, nr. 382, December 11, 1789, pp. 617ff.