Mémoires du Baron de Tott, sur les Turcs et les Tartares
Amsterdam: No publisher, 1784. Four volumes, in old quarter mottled calf and patterned boards, tan morocco titling pieces. pp lvi, 274; 301; 252; 208; half-title in each volume; woodcut title page vignette and head pieces. Bindings with modest rubbing and wear to the edges and spines; some inner hinges cracked but all quite firm; Vol. I has a very small chip at head of spine and a small abrasion to upper front joint; otherwise VG+ externally, internally fine, with normal paper rippling. >>>De Tott was a French military officer and diplomat of Hungarian origin. Upon first traveling to Constantinople in 1755 as the secretary of his uncle ambassador Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, de Tott learned Turkish and made the political situation in the Crimea his special study. Returning to Crimea in 1767 as French consul, he incited the Tatars to rebel against Imperial Russia and subsequently played a significant role on the side of the Ottoman Empire during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774, being tasked with defending the Dardanelles against the Russian fleet. He travelled across the Ottoman Empire, visiting coastal cities around the Mediterranean Sea, mainly Alexandria, Aleppo, Smyrna, Salonika and Tunis. De Tott lived in Turkey for 23 years. He also prospected the area for the construction of a canal in Suez and was appointed Inspector-General of the Levant for France in 1776. This work is credited with being the first objective account of Turkey by a Western writer. "According to Herold, Bonaparte in Egypt, De Tott was in fact an agent of the French secret service, and his inspection tour was a cover for exploring the possibility of a French seizure of Egypt; he prepared a special report on this subject for the French Foreign Office. His memoirs had a great success; they provide objective information and a new unromantic view of the Ottoman Empire." (Blackmer Collection 1667). 2 kg parcel.