Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
SIR HENRY BLOUNT. (1602-1682),
Sir Henry Blount was third son of Sir Thomas Pope Blount, of Tittenhanger, in Hertfordshire. He distinguished himself in the early part of his life, by his travels into the Levant. In this voyage he passed above six thousand miles, the greater part of which he went by land. This gained him the epithet of "The great Traveller." His quick and lively parts recommended him to Charles I. who is said to have committed the young princes to his care, just before the battle of Edge-hill. He was one of the commissioners appointed in November, 1655, to consider the proper ways and means to improve the trade and navigation of the commonwealth. http://books.google.com/books?id=mRIJAAAAIAAJ&p...
"[As a traveller.] Sir Henry Blount, had an altogether...secular and Baconian frame of mind, as is evidenced in his A Voyage into the Levant (1636). Blount's interest was not so much religious as scientific, and his approach to his encounters was more open. His text is also more prescriptive about the correct manner with which to engage with the Ottomans, though amicably so. Blount, writing in the early 17th century, witnessed the Ottoman Empire at the period of its greatest power and magnificence, comparing it to what he considered to be the then sorry state of one of the greatest powers of antiquity, Egypt.
"Throughout his travels in the Levant and the Orient, Blount took notes on what he observed. His was a form of "strategic travelling," taking both travel and travel writing to a new level of sophistication. His mission was also designed to bring commercial and other benefits to Britain, helping to "stimulate the market for coffee," for example. By the time Blount wrote his Voyage the secular approach of the new scientific age, of which he was a product, had led to the realisation that "nations and the institutions that attend them are as much historical products of geography, nature and climate as they are of religious belief."" http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/747/bo11.htm
A Voyage into the Levant went through 8 editions by 1671. The Pepysian Library has the edition of 1637. Here is the 1st ed. of 1626: http://books.google.com/books?id=f1ZzqBTjDVcC&p...
A portrait of Sir Henry Blount, Traveller, by Sir Peter Lely http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?...
Sir Henry Blount (1602–1682) was a 17th century English landowner, traveller and author. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Blount
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