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The Cultural Construction of the British World$
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Barry Crosbie and Mark Hampton

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719097898

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719097898.001.0001

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At home in the Ottoman Empire: humanitarianism and the Victorian diplomat

At home in the Ottoman Empire: humanitarianism and the Victorian diplomat

Chapter:
(p.77) Chapter Four At home in the Ottoman Empire: humanitarianism and the Victorian diplomat
Source:
The Cultural Construction of the British World
Author(s):

Michelle Tusan

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719097898.003.0004

This chapter examines the world of the Victorian diplomat through the life and work of Austen Henry Layard and his circle in Constantinople. Best known for his excavations of Assyrian artifacts at Mosul (now in the British Museum), Layard parlayed his fame as an adventurer-archeologist into a position as Disraeli’s Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. At Constantinople, Layard found himself at the center of a humanitarian and diplomatic crisis. The slaughter of Bulgarian civilians by Ottoman forces on the eve of the 1878 Russo-Turkish War sparked outrage at home over the “Bulgarian Atrocities.” His life as a diplomat at the Sublime Porte placed him at the center of a network of philanthropists, consuls, and other diplomats who attempted to reconcile Britain’s humanitarian commitments with geopolitical realities.

Keywords:   Humanitarian, Diplomacy, Victorian, Ottoman Empire, Philanthropy, British Empire, Henry Layard, Lady Strangford, Gladstone

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