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From the Collection
Walking in Canton one day, Elwes met an American whom he had known at Buenos Ayres and had gone from there to the United States, then crossed the Atlantic to England and come out to China by the overland route. "Now, having encircled the world between us, we had again met half-way round".
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 338 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