Asst. Prof. Patrick Hart and Asst. Prof. Valerie Kennedy of the Department of English Language and Literature are coeditors of a book recently published by Edinburgh University Press. “Henrietta Liston’s Travels: The Turkish Journals, 1812–1820,” comprising the journal and associated writings of the wife of a British ambassador to the Sublime Porte, provides a novel perspective on the early 19th-century Ottoman Empire.
The third coeditor of the book, Dora Petherbridge, is curator of North American and Commonwealth Collections at the National Library of Scotland, where the Liston Papers, which include the journals, are housed. The coeditors were assisted by Bilkent graduate F. Özden Mercan (HIST MA ’07) as associate editor.
All three coeditors, along with Dr. Mercan and Asst. Prof. Ken Weisbrode of the Bilkent Department of History, contributed sections to the critical introduction that provides background to Liston’s journal.
The book is the first publication of the journal, which, the publisher notes, “is a significant yet virtually unknown work of women’s travel writing.” The introduction, based on archival research in the Liston Papers, offers additional insights into the events described in the journal and the period in which it was written.
Students taking the ELIT elective “Turkish Travels” with Dr. Hart this semester will be reading Liston’s journal alongside writings by other British travelers to the Ottoman Empire such as Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Lord Byron.