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旅行、地圖及自然歷史

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Lebanon--Loudon, John
ARCHIVE OF C.180 LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS, CHIEFLY WHEN SECRETARY TO ADMIRAL ROBERT STOPFORD ON HMS PRINCESS CHARLOTTE, FLAGSHIP OF THE MEDITERRANEAN SQUADRON,
comprising c.107 letters by Loudon to his wife Margaret, giving an eyewitness account of the Battle of Beirut and the Bombardment of Acre during the Egyptian-Ottoman War, as well as describing life aboard ship and on shore at Malta, his travels around the Eastern Mediterranean, and family life, together with about 20 other family letters (mostly correspondence with his children), about 20 other letters to Loudon, including five autograph letters signed by Admiral Stopford, and a bundle of documents, mostly copy despatches and letters relating to hostilities in the Eastern Mediterranean and including an illustrated report on the defences of Alexandria (14 pages, 1840), c.1828-1848 but chiefly 1837-41, many of the letters with fumigation slits, some letters worn or splitting at folds
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A SIGNIFICANT AND UNKNOWN FIRST-HAND RECORD OF A MAJOR SERIES OF EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EAST. John Loudon, an experienced naval secretary, was appointed by Admiral Sir Robert Stopford as his secretary when he was made commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean station in 1837. Loudon sailed with Stopford for nearly four years. They cruised the Mediterranean from their headquarters in Malta, and Loudon's letters to his wife describe visits to such locations as Gibraltar, Minorca, Genoa, Tunis, Athens, Palermo, and Smyrna (where he complains of the kept awake by the jingling bells of camel caravans, “this being a busy time with them carrying the grapes from the Country & lines of them following one another along the narrow streets"). 

In the summer of 1840 Loudon found himself a witness to war when Britain and other European powers intervened to prop up the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans had suffered a series of humiliating defeats at the hand of the Egyptian Pasha Muhammad Ali, who had occupied Syria, including the Lebanese coast. In a letter of 17 September 1840 Loudon describes arriving off Beirut ("...We found the Turkish Troops about 4500 & [Charles] Napier all ready to make a landing we saw the grounds about the Town all bristling & glittering with Muskets & Bayonets...”) and writes with evident disquiet about the brutal shelling of the city that followed (“...we have been pelting away unmercifully upon people who do not return us a shot. The people of the country are all enslaved & would gladly rise but the time I fear is gone...”). The Princess Charlotte remained in the region until December, and Loudon's letters describe such key events in the campaign as the devastating bombardment of Acre and the controversial behaviour of Napier.

旅行、地圖及自然歷史

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