Prince Bertie’s holiday snaps …

By Mary Fisk|July 11, 2013|Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica, Art and Archaeology, History, Middle East, Central Asia & Islamica|0 comments

File:Prince Edward 1860.jpg

Prince Edward, photograph take between 1860 and 1865 

Image from WikiMedia Commons:

Also public domain in the US (

In 1862, “Bertie”, Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII), was sent on an “improving” 4-and-a-half month tour of the Middle East, visiting Egypt, the Holy Land and Constantinople.

Accompanying him was the photographer, Francis Bedford, who took over 190 prints of the region – one of the earliest photographic records of these countries. A selection are now published in a “sumptuous” new record of the trip, with an accompanying text by Sophie Gordon (Curator of the Royal Photographic Collection, and SOAS alumna).

From Cairo to Constantinople : Francis Bedford’s photographs of the Middle East is currently on order for SOAS Library, but if you want to find out more about the Prince’s tour, there’s interactive material from the Chicago University Press website (US distributors) – including a digital version of the Prince’s journal (he really preferred the shooting to traipsing round historical sites!), a catalogue of the Royal Collection exhibition, a selection of Bedford’s photographs and an interview with celebrated journalist and contributor to the book, John McCarthy.

Then, there’s  Colin Thubron’s review in The New York Review of Books

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