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Fair warning… A dark post

While researching in the stacks last week, I stumbled across something from our rare book collection that instantly grabbed my attention.

It’s a book with a lengthy title, so prepare yourself:

The voiages and travels of John Struys through Italy, Greece, Muscovy, Tartary, Media, Persia, East-India, Japan, and other countries in Europe, Africa and Asia : containing remarks and observations upon the manners, religion, polities, customs and laws of the inhabitants, and a description of their several cities, towns, forts, and places of strength.
This book was written by John Struys in 1684 and features his account of the “dangers by shipwreck, robbery, slavery, hunger, torture, and the like”. It’s a very dark, yet interesting account and his illustrations add even more to this piece. Struys provides gorgeous renderings of the towns he saw, but also some gruesome depictions of scenes of torture and massacre.
This image to the left is just the cover page… Does anybody else see what I see?

Below are some of the “family friendly” plates taken from his book. I’ll be sure to warn you of the graphic images.

City of Judia The Isle of Delphos

The New Card of the Caspian Sea Tartars on Horseback

Ok readers. Clicking on the images below will open a new window showing Struys’ illustrations of massacre and torture. The third one is really the worst, but I thought I’d spare those who are squeamish.

If you are ever in the Library and you are curious to see what else Struys illustrated, come by in person and take a look at all of the details that are a bit difficult to see online.

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