Excellence in Scholarship and Learning


A very good sort of man

A Life of Dr Charles Lewis Meryon (1783–1877), physician to Lady Hester Stanhope

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.

The first ever biography of Dr Charles Lewis Meryon (1783–1877), born in Rye (Sussex), physician to Lady Hester Stanhope and companion on her travels on various different occasions (to Malta, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and the Lebanon) during which he met Lord Byron, the Pasha of Egypt, and famed traveller Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, among many other characters and personalities; he was shipwrecked, attacked by pirates and lost for several days in the desert, in addition to living numerous other adventures; he was the father of tormented French artist Charles Meryon (the artist’s mother’s unrequited love for his father is told by means of their original correspondence), author of the two three-volume sets The Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope and The Travels of the Lady Hester Stanhope, translator (Meryon mastered various languages both ancient and modern); poet, and revolutionary politician in his home town of Rye. The biography also includes an edition of his poem ’Tis all my Eye and Betty Martin, of which only five copies were ever printed. The last remaining copy in the UK was destroyed in the bombing of London in the Second World War, and the work was believed to be lost forever, but the last surviving copy was recently unearthed in Canada.

The biography is a companion volume to the newly discovered Additional Memoirs of Lady Hester Stanhope: An Unpublished Historical Account for the years 1819– 1820, as recorded by her physician Charles Lewis Meryon, edited with an introduction by Mark Guscin.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-872-5
Hardback Price: £40.00 / $59.95
Release Date: October/November 2017
Page Extent / Format: 300 pp. / 234 x 156 mm
Illustrated: Yes



Chapter 1            Meryon’s early life
Chapter 2            Travelling with Lady Hester – From Portsmouth to Rhodes
Chapter 3            Travelling with Lady Hester – From Alexandria to Mar Elias
Chapter 4            Back in London and Back to Lady Hester
Chapter 5            Complicated Relationships
Chapter 6            Back Again with Lady Hester
Chapter 7            Meryon’s Tormented Fatherhood
Chapter 8            Charles Meryon – Historian, Linguist and Poet
Chapter 9            The Meryon Family

Appendix            ’Tis all my Eye and Betty Martin or the Folly of Man’s Pursuits, a poem by Charles Lewis Meryon

Guscin, a historian and author who has written a biography of Lady Hester Stanhope, offers a biography of Dr. Charles Lewis Meryon (1783–1877), a physician to Stanhope and companion on her travels in the Middle East. Meryon met Lord Byron, the Pasha of Egypt, and Johann Ludwig Burckhardt; was shipwrecked, attacked by pirates, and lost for several days in the desert; wrote books about his travels with Stanhope; and was a poet and politician in Rye, England. The author also describes Meryon’s early life and his troubled relationship with his son, French artist Charles Meryon. The book includes his poem “’Tis all my Eye and Betty Martin.”

Lady Hester Stanhope made Meryon who he was because she employed him (for very little pay) and became dependent on him. Though he only spent 10 years of his long life actually with her, Meryon in turn created her legend and the main record of her unusual life. ... Guscin brings an analytical eye to the intricacies of parentage, noblesse oblige and the various reasons why retainers might not be quite servants, yet not quite family in the entourage of Lady Hester’s family and associates. ... The book is attractively put together, with some illustrations and copious notes, witness to extensive research and indeed detective work in finding literary works by Meryon published privately and thought lost.
ASTENE Bulletin

Reviewed in Spanish in La Voz de Galicia by Rodri García on 4 September 2017, at

Reviewed in Rye News on 15 September 2017 at

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