The Divan Club, 1744-46

Rachel Finnegan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This monograph examines Al-Koran as an important, if little-known, document pertaining to the popular subject of eighteenth-century travel and travellers, particularly the remarkable individuals whose Grand Tours were extended to the Ottoman Empire. With this in mind, this study considers the manuscript against the background of its wider historical and social context. The introductory chapter ('Eighteenth-Century Travel to Turkey') examines the circumstances under which eighteenth-century travellers visited the Ottoman Empire (including Lady Mary Wortley Montagu). Chapter 1 ('The Influence on the Divan of Similar Clubs in Contemporary Georgian England') looks at other London dining clubs with oriental themes, in particular the Egyptian Society, which had strong links with the Divan Club. Chapter 2 ('The Laws and Orders of the Divan Club') outlines the main objectives and regulations of the Divan Club, as can be deduced from the only surviving record. And the final chapter ('The Composition of the Divan Club') gives biographical accounts of its members, with particular reference to the most important eastern travellers (Lord Sandwich, Admiral George Anson, Dr. Richard Pococke and Robert Wood) in terms of their experiences in the east, and their contribution both to travel writing and to oriental/Greek scholarship and taste. The study is illustrated with portraits of several members, some of whom are in oriental dress.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-87
    JournalThe Electronic Journal of Oriental Studies
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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