Original ink manuscript diary in the form of a series of letters, contained within a lined notebook. Dark green limp textured cloth, red stain to textblock edges. 17.5 x 11.5 cm. 40pp. of text, with the remainder black (approximately half full). 9 photographs tipped-in throughout the text. The first page inscribed "Mary H. Dendy / from / A. H. Dendy / March 15th 1877". The letters, signed "Mary", begin with 16th July 1869 and end 21st August 1869. There are a few blank spaces within the later section of the text where it appears Dendy intended to insert some further photographs, although never got round to doing so. Condition is very good, the binding firm with a couple of minor marks to the covers; the contents with a little rippling to the pages where the photographs have been affixed and a few spots of occasional light foxing are otherwise in very good order and clean throughout.
An engaging, conversational travel diary charting the voyage of Mary H. Dendy on board the yacht "Star of the Sea" from Plymouth through the Bay of Biscay to Gibraltar, then onto Algeria, Morocco and Southern Italy, wonderfully illustrated with nine photographs including six of Algerian costumes and street scenes, two views of Pompeii and one of the Rock of Gibraltar. Undertaken in 1869, the book (written in 1877) records the letters Dendy sent home from her journey. Describing the conditions of her travels and the places and peoples she encounters, she observes her surroundings with a keen eye, as this extract of her account of Algiers demonstrates: "It is a town built on a very steep hill, the houses rising one above another, but as they are mostly painted white the sun gives them a dazzling appearance. The town itself is a strange mixture of French & Moorish...There are some very good shops under arcades & Moorish Bazaars. There is a large paved square facing the sea, where the band plays in the evening from 6 to 9 o'clock. On one side of this square stands a fine Mahometan mosque [which she enters and describes], & on the other a grove of palms. The variety of costumes seen in Algiers gives a picturesque appearance to the streets. Turks with their red capes & turbans, Arabs with large hooded cloaks & linen bound round their heads with a coil of rope, Moors in short tunics, loose trousers & flowing robes. The Moorish women are all in white, so closely veiled that only their eyes are visible, while their trousers drawn in tightly gives them a most peculiar appearance, but the Jewess women look very gay in silks and satins". She also provides accounts of her visit to the Atlas Mountains, a stop at Malaga in Spain (where she tours a beautiful garden, witnesses an "insurrection", and the captain of her vessel gets a bloody nose from the captain of a Spanish man-of-war), an account of her "African Adventure" in the Bay of Tetuan ("we soon found ourselves in a sandy desert... the only road being a beaten track, while the hot wind blew the sand most disagreeably into our eyes") from which she proceeds to Tetuan itself (of which she provides a detailed description) where her party is received under the protection of the Spanish Consul ("we heard that the Emperor of Morocco had given his subjects leave to shoot any white man they could find in his dominions"), as well as narratives of her final tours around the Bay of Naples and Pompeii.
Stock code: 20653