Giffard, Edward: A short visit to the Ionian Islands, Athens, and the Morea. London: John Murray, 1837. First Edition, 8vo. pp. viii, [ii], 399, [i], woodcut title-page vignette and with lithographed map of the route by John and Charles Walker and 6 lithographed plates after F.W. Newton, who accompanied the author on his travels. Contemporary gilt ruled calf, neat repair to upper joint, marbled edges. Ink stamp of Berkelouw Bookdealers, Sydney, and pencilled ownership signature of V.J.A. Flynn, April 1962, to endpapers.
In Navari’s judgement Giffard – whose journey lasted only between January and March 1836 – has left a fairly ‘sketchy’ account, although she notes that the views include the newly re-erected temple of Nike Apteros on the Acropolis in Athens. Contemporaries were warmer in their praise. It was described as ‘an elegant and amusing book’ (Asiatic Journal, 1837, p. 302) and another reviewer stated that ‘whether as a guide to the traveller, or as amusing summer reading to those who stay at home… Mr. Giffard’s work is very creditable to its author’ (Quarterly Review, 1837, p. 240). The speed and ease of Giffard’s journey was partly facilitated by technology – he offers valuable advice for early steamship passengers – and he was as interested in the contemporary politics of newly independent Greece as in its antiquities. He was received by the British Lord High Commissioner on Corfu, and was present when the young King Otto laid the foundation stone of the new royal palace in Athens. Blacker 683.