Autograph letter signed 'Strangford'.
PERCY SMYTHE STRANGFORD, (8th Viscount - British nobleman and man of letters), (1825-1869).
Original Manuscript Autograph Letter Signed Letterhead in Persian Beneath A Coronet, Dated 19 November 1868.
Original autograph letter signed (ALS) by Percy Smythe Strangford, (1825-1869), about Heinrich Julius Klaproth's manuscript, saying it was translated from a Russian book, "officially confided to him when at Turkestan in 1805 or thereabouts". 18x11,5 cm. In English. 30 lines in 2 p. Letterhead in Persian beneath q coronet, dated 19 November 1868. Heinrich Julius Klaproth, (1783-1835), was a German linguist, historian, ethnographer, author, orientalist, and explorer. As a scholar, he is credited along with Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat, with being instrumental in turning East Asian Studies into scientific disciplines with critical methods. Percy Ellen Algernon Frederick William Sydney Smythe, 8th Viscount Strangford, (1825-1869), was a British nobleman and man of letters. He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, the son of the 6th Viscount Strangford, the British Ambassador, Ottoman Turkey, Sweden, and Portugal. During all his earlier years Percy Smythe was nearly blind, in consequence, it was believed, of his mother having suffered very great hardships on a journey up the Baltic Sea in wintry weather shortly before his birth. His education began at Harrow School, whence he went to Merton College, Oxford. He excelled as a linguist and was nominated by the vice-chancellor of Oxford in 1845 a student-attache at Constantinople. While at Constantinople, where he served under Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, Smythe gained a mastery not only of Turkish and its dialects but of almost every form of modern Greek, from the language of the literati of Athens to the least Hellenized Romaic. He had already a large knowledge both of Persian and Arabic before going east, but until his duties led him to study the past, present, and future of the sultan's empire he had given no attention to the tongues which he well described as those of the international rabble in and around the Balkan peninsula. On succeeding his brother as Viscount Strangford in 1857 he continued to live in Constantinople, immersed in cultural studies. At length, however, he returned to England and wrote a good deal, sometimes in the Saturday Review, sometimes in the Quarterly Review, and much in the Pall Mall Gazette. A rather severe review in the first of these organs of the Egyptian Sepulchres and Syrian Shrines of Emily Anne Beaufort (1826-1887) led to a result not very usual, the marriage of the reviewer and the author. Percy Smythe was president of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1861-64 and 1867-69.