[TRAVELS INTO BOSNIA IN THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY] Pogled u Bosnu ili kratak put u onu krajinu učinjen 1839-40, po Jednom Domorodcu [i.e., A view of Bosnia or a short travel to the region made in 1839-40, according to one native]
MAZURANIC, MATIJA (1817-1881).
Tisak Zaklade Tiskare Narodnie Novina u Zagrebu, Zagreb, 1938.
Original green wrappers. Demy 8vo. (21 x 14 cm). In Bosnian (Latin script). xiv, , 80 p., a photograph of author on the frontispiece. A stamp of “Ljekar Gribajevic M. Dr. Mehmed”, a scratching line on front cover. Otherwise, a very good copy.
Reprinted second edition published for the first time in 1938 following the first edition in Zagreb in 1842, which made the author known, of his 1839 travels to Bosnia from Karlovac, Sisak, and Kostajnica, over Belgrade, on foot and horse, to Sarajevo, Travnik, over Romanija up to Zvornik.
This travel book intermixes the author's views on the relationships between the Ottoman Turks and the Bosniaks, Islam and Christianity, with accounts of the customs of everyday life, images of vizier courts of agas and pashas, but also of folk meyhanes [i.e., taverns], contemplations on everyday life, love, and death. (Wikipedia).
“In 1839, at the age of twenty-two, Matija Mažuranić crossed the River Sava into Ottoman Bosnia on a secret political mission on behalf of the Illyrian national movement in his native Croatia, then part of the Habsburg Monarchy. After initial setbacks, he reached his goal via the principality of Serbia, since 1830 an autonomous entity within the Ottoman Empire. For the Illyrians, both Bosnia and Serbia were kindred south Slav lands (albeit little known because of the militarized border that still separated ‘Germany’ from ‘Turkey’) and, as such, key components of a future Illyrian association. In this fascinating and sympathetic eyewitness account, Mažuranić records his encounters with Ottoman Bosnian society at every level - from peasants in the field mistaking him for a demon to townspeople in taverns and shops who often saw him as a strange and inferior being – culminating in the time he spent as a visitor attached to the pasha’s court. The author’s life was in danger on more than one occasion, from his perilous crossing into Serbia by boat to a nocturnal ordeal at the hands of a jealous father. This unique record provides invaluable insight into the local customs, modes of speech and dress, and political, social, and economic conditions of Ottoman Bosnia at the dawn of the reform period known as the Tanzimat.” (Source: A Glance into Ottoman Bosnia by Magas).
Matija Mažuranić was the youngest brother of two leaders of the Illyrian national movement in Croatia. He was an entrepreneur and builder of roads and bridges, who learned Turkish and traveled widely throughout the Ottoman Empire.