Loch Builg, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
29 Jan 1862
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"I passed several ranchos at which troops of mules were resting. A troop generally consists of fifty or a hundred mules under one tropero. They travel three or four leagues a day".
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 44 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.