- What’s On
In April 1812 Henrietta Liston boarded the Argo to sail to Constantinople with her husband Robert, the esteemed Scottish diplomat. At almost 70, Robert had been appointed to serve a second term as British Ambassador to the Sublime Porte.
This talk will explore the Liston Papers archive at the National Library of Scotland, which documents in rich detail Henrietta and Robert’s eight-year residency in Turkey through their personal correspondence, official dispatches, financial papers, and travel journals. The contents of the archive, in Arabic, French, Greek, Italian, Ottoman Turkish and several other tongues include a diplomat’s cypher; a plan of the Turkish and Persian frontiers; Henrietta’s meteorological diary; a recipe for making Turkish ink; fascinating embassy expenses accounts, and Ottoman travelling firmans.
Valerie Kennedy teaches at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. She is one of the co-editors of Henrietta Liston’s Travels: The Turkish Journals 1812-1820 (Edinburgh UP, 2020). Current projects include editing a collection of essays entitled Egypt: Discourses of Travel, Exploration, and European Power from 1750 to 1956, and a monograph on British travellers to the Ottoman Empire, 1716 to 1850.
Patrick Hart is editor of the Journal of the Northern Renaissance and teaches English Literature at Bilkent University, Ankara. He coordinated ‘Approaching Constantinople,’ the joint project between the National Library of Scotland and Bilkent University which resulted in the multiplatform publication of Henrietta Liston’s Turkish writings, and co-edited Henrietta Liston’s Travels: The Turkish Journals, 1812-1820 (Edinburgh UP, 2020).
Dora Petherbridge is Curator of International Collections at the National Library of Scotland. She co-edited Henrietta Liston’s Travels: The Turkish Journals, 1812-1820.