This unusual Ottoman text is a translation of a description of Chicago, written by a military officer and journalist Baron Edmond de Mandat-Grancey (1842–1911) and first published in 1898. The book was issued in the series Küçük Seyahatler (Small Travels), one of the first travelogues in Ottoman language, which consisted of four separately published titles: China, Afghanistan, Chicago and Mumbai (please see the following items).
The publishing house by Ahmed İhsan was specialized in travel and exploration books as well as in adventure novels. İhsan, who translated several of the books, published by his press, also translated at the time highly popular Jules Verne’s novels to Ottoman, which inspired him to make his own journey around Europe, using the fastest means of transportation. This book titled Avrupa’da Ne Gördüm (What did I see in Europe) became the first modern Ottoman travelogue of Europe and possibly the first travelogue involving the newly opened Orient Express.
Ahmed İhsan is also remembered as a founder of most influential Ottoman illustrated literary and cultural magazine Servet-i Fünun ( ثروت فنون ) or Wealth of Knowledge, which promoted Ottoman modern literature. He was the magazine’s editor from the first number in 1888 until his death in 1942.
We could find four institutional examples on Worldcat (Harvard University, Princeton University Library, University of Chicago Library, Boğaziçi University Library).
References: OCLC 949548460, 39997758. ÖZEGE; 18961, MİL – TBTK; 4401.
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