The Kingdom of Georgia

Wardrop, Sir Oliver Wardrop The Kingdom of Georgia ISBN 07189-0247-5

Wardrop, Sir Oliver Wardrop The Kingdom of Georgia ISBN 07189-0247-5

A classic introduction to Georgia – still of interest , despite its age

This book was first published in 1888, when Oliver Wardrop was just 24 years old. The story of his, and his sister Marjory’s, involvement with Georgia, is well-known. Indeed, his sister Marjory’s translation of Rustaveli’s “The man in the panther skin” is the best-known book of the Wardrops. By contrast, Oliver’s introduction to Georgia – which has the amusing subtitle “Travel in a land of women, wine and song”, is rather lesser known.

The book is a modest 168 pages (excluding bibliography and some appendices) and covers a broad geographical description of the country, a very brief synopsis of its history and some comments on the language, literature and political situation (as it was in 1888). Many of the sites which a tourist nowadays would visit – such Tblisi (or Tiflis, as it was then called by many) and Ananuri (on the Georgian Military Highway) are described. The book also has a selection of charming prints showing various sights in Georgia, as they were towards the end of the 19th century.

Review by Anthony Stobart (December 2016)

Note: this review (and the ISBN quoted above) refers to a facsimile of the original book, published in 1977 by Luzac & Company Ltd.

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