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From the Collection
"I knew Cairo well, having made a considerable stay there some years before; but now on revisiting it, I found that it quite equalled my first impressions, and I think that, though Damascus may be more truly oriental, in picturesqueness and street scenery Cairo is not equalled by anything else. I acted as a guide and took passengers round the most interesting parts of the city".
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 398 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