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The Additional Memoirs of Lady Hester Stanhope

An Unpublished Historical Account for the years 1819–1820, as recorded by her physician Charles Lewis Meryon

Mark Guscin holds a 1st Class Honours Degree in Latin and Greek and a PhD in History. He is the author of various books of popular and academic history, including an award-winning biography of Lady Hester Stanhope written in Spanish, a biography of Sir John Moore (also in Spanish) and various books on religious history.

In 1845 and 1846 Charles Lewis Meryon published the two three-volume sets The Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope and The Travels of the Lady Hester Stanhope, which is still the most important source for the early life and first travels of Lady Hester. Towards the end of his life he wrote the Additional Memoirs for the years 1819–1820, the manuscript of which has lain virtually untouched and unknown for the last 150 years.

The Additional Memoirs were known by previous biographers of Lady Hester –  The Duchess of Cleveland and Lorna Gibb –  but are now edited with an introduction for the first time by Mark Guscin. The text contains contains invaluable and fascinating new information about the life not only of Lady Hester, covering in addition to the period 1819–1820 anecdotes and stories from the rest of her life, but also of Meryon himself, finally solving the mystery behind his lengthy and time-consuming journey back to the Lebanon in 1819 and the reasons why he left Lady Hester again almost immediately upon arrival. Many have speculated on the reasons for this journey and why it came to such an abrupt end, and now Meryon himself tells the whole story in his own words. The Additional Memoirs is essential eye-witness reading for anyone with an interest in nineteenth-century England and Europe, travel in the Middle East, and more specifically, the Stanhope family.

The Memoirs is a companion volume to Mark Guscin’s A very good sort of man: A Life of Dr Charles Lewis Meryon (1783–1877), physician to Lady Hester Stanhope

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-873-2
Hardback Price: £50.00 / $74.95
Release Date: October/November 2017
Page Extent / Format: 400 pp. / 246 x 171 mm
Illustrated: Yes



Chapter 1
Departure from England. First letter from Lady Hester Stanhope. Stay in Paris. Second letter from Lady Hester. Mr Leander Miranda. Visit to Chateau Borbilly. Journey to Geneva.

Chapter 2
December 17, 1818 to February 14, 1819. Geneva. The first Lord Stanhope. A Ball. The Rev. Mr Rooke. Tour around the lake. Meals in Geneva. Jouer le Proverbe. Character of Swiss plebeians. Four servants engaged. Letter to Lady Hester Stanhope February 14 1819.

Chapter 3
February 15 1819 to March 13, 1819. Journey from Geneva to Turin and from Turin to Genoa. Letter to Lady Hester Stanhope. Letter from Colonel Missett. Stay at Genoa.

Chapter 4
March 13, 1819 to April 9, 1819. Voyage from Genoa to Cyprus. Letter to Lady Hester Stanhope. Stay at Cyprus. Letter to Lady Hester Stanhope. Letter from Lady Hester Stanhope. Passage from Cyprus to Sayda.

Chapter 5
April 9 to May 9, 1819. Reception by Lady Hester Stanhope of Mr Miranda, the servants and myself. Doings at Abra. Rivalry of the Emir Beshyr and Sheykh Beshyr. Flight of the governor of Jaffa.

Chapter 6
Lady Hester Stanhope’s Religious Opinions.

Chapter 7   
May to August 1817. Narration carried back two years. First return of the author from Syria to France. Mr D. Urquhart, Monsieur Lesseps, Sir Robert Liston, Mr Turnbull, Dr Symonds, the Rev. Mr Bradford. Description of Marseilles. Journey to Paris. Stay in Paris. Journey to England.

Chapter 8
August 15 to December 3, 1817. Doings in England. Candidate at St Thomas’s Hospital. Letter to Earl Stanhope. Lady Hester’s father’s will. Disputes arising from it. My daughter Lucy’s schooling expenses. My degrees at Oxford. Letter to Lady Hester. Lady Hester’s letter.

Chapter 9
December 7, 1817 to February 16, 1818. Journey through the Midland Counties. History of Dr Newbury’s dismissal. Visits to sundry persons; friends of Lady Hester Stanhope.

Chapter 10
Residence in London from February to August 1818. Occurrences there.

Chapter 11
The author’s residence in London.

Chapter 12
September 1818. La Bergère des Alpes. Directions where to search for her and a description of her person and qualities.

Chapter 13
Lady Hester’s reflections on her brother’s conduct. Bedawys at her house. Englishmen at her gate. Mrs Fry’s sufferings. Visit of Solyman Effendi. The Sultan’s harym. Money rates. Refractory slaves. Gall and Spurzheim. The village of Garyby. Visit to the Sheykh Beshyr.

Chapter 14
Scenes in High Life. Anecdotes of the Prince Regent, of the Duke of Cumberland, of the 1st and 2nd Earls of Chatham, of Earl and the Countess Stanhope, of Earl and the Countess Harrington, and of others of the nobility. Early days of Lady Hester.

Chapter 15
Lady Hester goes to a retreat on Mount Lebanon.

Chapter 16
Lady Hester goes to a retreat on Mount Lebanon (continued).

Chapter 17
Passage to Cyprus.

Chapter 18
Suit in the Geneva Courts. Adjudication. Journey from Geneva to London.

The contents of this book provide some of the material (especially Chapter 4) for the biography of Charles Lewis Meryon already reviewed in Bulletin 74. If you have read the Meryon biography you might be tempted not to read this whole narrative. But that would mean missing the minutiae of the personalities whom Lady Hester had known before she left England and whom she missed once gone (yet she was not even half-way through the years of her self-inflicted exile). Although the text theoretically covers only the years 1818-1819, there are sufficient anecdotal digressions to extend that timescale. At one point Meryon refers to himself as “a humdrum man”. I felt, after living with him through these two books, that the very mulish tenacity which Lady Hester so despised was actually that particular form of heroism displayed by ordinary Englishmen in difficult situations in the East throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. He comes across as a thoughtful man, observant both of what he saw in the east and in comparing it with his home experience. Guscin’s scholarship in producing these books has been prodigious and admirable.
ASTENE Bulletin


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