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The history of the crusades for the recovery and possession of the Holy Land

Charles Mills, 1822

The Crusades were a series of wars that took place in Asia Minor and the Levant between 1095 and 1291. Mills' account was influential in England when it was released, and his writings had an impact on later British Christian Zionists. His perspective is unabashedly European; he praises Richard the Lion, calling him a hero, and often focuses on the splendor of British chivalry and the glory of combat. 

Armenia: A Year at Erzeroom, and on the Frontiers of Russia, Turkey, and Persia

Robert Curzon, 1854

Curzon was an English traveler, diplomat and author. This book describes a conflict between the Kurdish Turks and the Persians. Kurdish tribes were raiding and sacking Persian-held lands, and Russia and England met with the ruling parties to negotiate a treaty in 1847. This treaty sought to codify the borders of the two empires; however, given that much of the terrain had never been fully explored, a survey was conducted. This account, then, presents a detailed historical and geographic narrative and a unique window into colonial era conflict intervention and management.

Memoir on the Ruins of Babylon

Claudius James Rich, 1816

Rich was a British business agent and antiquarian scholar. Adept with languages, he spoke Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Persian, Turkish, and Arabic. He claimed that no one had truly described the ruins of Babylon, and he hoped his account would remedy that oversight. His writing is extremely rich, and he elaborates upon the history, culture, and topography of the region. His cultural and linguist knowledge is staggering, and he often provides citations in Arabic and Hebrew. Moreover, his writing is tempered with a kind of modesty and genuine appreciation that is atypical of the accounts of his contemporaries.


The conquerors of Palestine through forty centuries

H. O. b. Lock, 1920

While serving in Palestine in 1917-18, Major Lock determined that there was a need for a book that described the many invasions that had rocked the land. Although he employed a variety of sources, his perspective is that of a soldier's, and his writing is simple, clear, and direct. The book is rather short and succinct, but the information contained within is still relevant today.

The history of the Italian-Turkish war: September 29, 1911, to October 18, 1912

Lewis Einstein, 1917

This account was primarily compiled for the United States Navy. The Italian-Turkish war was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy. As a result of this war, Italy came to rule the land that is currently known as Libya. According to Einstein, this war demonstrated the preparedness of the Italian Government and inefficacy of the Turkish navy. Einstein's account is accurate, highly detailed, and a tremendous resource for any scholar of naval history.

The true life of Capt. Sir Richard F. Burton

Georgiana M. Stisted, 1896

Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton was a true renaissance man: an explorer, translator, writer, soldier, cartographer, spy, linguist, poet, fencer, and diplomat. He was known for his travels within Asia, Africa and the Americas, as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one count, he spoke 29 European, Asian and African language. Burton is best known for his translation of the One Thousand and One Nights. This account was written by his niece and details the many chronicles of his colorful life.


Cassell's illustrated history of the Russo-Turkish war [vol.1]

Edmund Ollier, 1877-79

The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 was a conflict between the Ottoman Empire and a coalition of Eastern Orthodox countries led by Russian. Myriad factors contributed to the outbreak of war, including then-emergent Balkan nationalism and the fallout of the Crimean War. Ollier's account is dense and his prose dry and unornamented; like many of the histories within the collection, he wrote primarily for military historians. The illustrations within his account, however, are utterly fantastic.