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From the Collection
I admired the black rocks, bright sand, deep purple bay and blue and violet mountains; the Arabs with their white burnoose and turbans were quite in character with the scene. As it was a case of coaling, we all went on shore to sleep. The hotel takes a great number of passengers for one or two nights, its arrangements are rather singular. Besides a few private rooms for ladies, there is one long apartment full of beds, ranged side by side like a barrack, or more like "Long Chamber" at Eton.
This is a page from a unique leather-bound volume of Robert Elwes’ travelogue 'A Sketcher's Tour Round the World', first published 1854, (see page 392 for corresponding passage).
The book contains the printed text of the manuscript but remarkably, the monochrome wash illustrations are hand painted by Elwes. The book bears a handwritten inscription ‘Mary F Elwes from her affect. husband Robert Elwes Jan 25 1878’, dated after Robert Elwes became ill at Congham, his Norfolk home. On 28th January 1878 , their youngest daughter Violet noted in her diary: “Papa much worse”. Less than three months later, Robert Elwes died on 17th April aged 58.
From the Watercolour World