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Book/Printed Material The Spirit of the East. The spirit of the East

About this Item


  • The Spirit of the East.

Other Title

  • The spirit of the East


  • David Urquhart (1805--77) was a British author and diplomat who served under Foreign Secretary Viscount Palmerston. The leading Turcophile writer of his generation, Urquhart was closely associated with championing the Turkish cause in British politics, often at the expense of Russia, a position that eventually brought him in direct conflict with Palmerston and ended his diplomatic career. Beginning in 1827, Urquhart spent about a decade in Greece and the Balkans. He first took part in the Greek War of Independence. He later traveled in the region and served as a diplomat in Constantinople. Presented here is the first volume of The Spirit of the East, which Urquhart based on his travels and research in the region during this period. The two-volume work takes a favorable view of the Turkish society and culture and of Islam. Comprised of 23 chapters, the first volume mixes travel narratives with accounts of historical and current events, beginning with a five-month journey that Urquhart took from Argos, in the Peloponnese, across European Turkey. The volume details the social life, customs, and laws of administration of the 250 towns and villages that Urquhart visited. The author describes in detail his adventures in a variety of terrains, including watercourses, mountainous regions, and wastelands. Other chapters make military comparisons between Britain and Turkey and observations about the cultural differences between Turks and Europeans, especially the British. The volume concludes with a chapter concerning Urquhart's impressions and reflections on the Westernization sweeping Greek and Turkish societies, a phenomenon he found unfortunate. The first edition of the work was published in 1838. This is the second edition, published by Henry Colburn in London in 1839.


  • Urquhart, David, 1805-1877 Author.

Created / Published

  • London : Henry Colburn, 1839.


  • -  Albania
  • -  Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • -  Greece
  • -  Greece--Peloponnisos--Árgos
  • -  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • -  Turkey
  • -  1839
  • -  Description and travel
  • -  Diplomatic relations
  • -  Manners and customs
  • -  Ottoman Empire, 1288-1918
  • -  Voyages and travels


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 435 pages : illustrations, maps ; 21 centimeters.
  • -  Reference extracted from World Digital Library: Miles Taylor, "Urquhart, David (1805-1877)," in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).
  • -  Original resource at: Qatar National Library.
  • -  Content in English.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667041

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

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Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Urquhart, David, Author. The Spirit of the East. London: Henry Colburn, 1839. Pdf.

APA citation style:

Urquhart, D. (1839) The Spirit of the East. London: Henry Colburn. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Urquhart, David, Author. The Spirit of the East. London: Henry Colburn, 1839. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.