Important account of the Ottoman Empire

TOTT, (F. DE.) Mémoires du baron de Tott, sur les Turcs et les Tartares. Premiere Partie [-Quatrieme Partie]. A Amsterdam, 1784. Four parts bound in two volumes. lvi, 274 pp.; blank leaf; 301, [1] pp.; 252 pp.; 208 pp. 8vo. Contemporary half calf, spine gilt in compartments, red labels with gilt lettering, boards with blue marbled paper , spines a bit rubbed, small defects to head of spines.

€ 900

Atabey 1227; Blackmer 1667 (edition Amsterdam 1785); Hage Chahine 4820; Chadenat 994 (also Amsterdam 1785); Conlon 84:1854. First edition, scarce, of this important account of the Ottoman Empire. François Baron de Tott (Hungarian: Báró Tóth Ferenc) (August 17, 1733, Champigny, – September 24, 1793, Hungary) was an aristocrat and a French military officer of Hungarian origin: the descendant of a Hungarian nobleman, who had emigrated to the Ottoman Empire and then moved on to France with the cavalry of Count Miklos Berscenyi, and was later raised to the rank of baron. In 1755 he travelled to Constantinople, the capital city of the Ottoman Empire, as the secretary of his uncle Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, who had been appointed ambassador. His main duty was to learn the Turkish language, to investigate the situation in the Ottoman Empire and to gather information about the Crimean Khanate. In 1767, he was appointed consul in Crimea in order to learn about the country and incite the Crimean Tatars to rebel against Imperial Russia. François de Tott played a major role during the Russo-Turkish War (1768-1774). Leaving Crimea for a while, he was commissioned by the Ottoman government with the task of defending the Dardanelles against the Russian fleet. Following in the footprints of Claude Alexandre de Bonneval, known as Humbarac Ahmed Pasha, François de Tott was involved in the reform efforts of the Ottoman military. He succeeded in having a new foundry built to make howitzers, and was instrumental in the creation of mobile artillery units. He built fortifications on the Bosphorus and started a naval science course that laid the foundation stone for the later naval school. He travelled across the Ottoman Empire, visiting coastal cities around the Mediterranean Sea, mainly Alexandria, Aleppo, Smyrna, Salonika and Tunis. He also prospected the area for the construction of a canal in Suez. François Baron de Tott’s Memoirs were published in four volumes. He returned to Hungary from Switzerland, where he had moved after the French Revolution. He died on September 24, 1793 in Hungary. “….. an influential work on the Turkish Empire published by the baron de Tott …..” (Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, vol. 3, p. 190). “Ouvrage curieux contenant des renseignements très intéressants sur les moeurs des Turcs” (Chadenat). – Each part with half-title, title and separate paging and signatures.