James Theodore Bent (1852-97) was a famous 19th century British traveller and scholar. We publish his The Cyclades, one of the most celebrated of all travel books, a description of a journey to the islands of Greece in the 1880s.
The beginning of the new preface to this edition:
To travel in the Cyclades in the 1880s, as did James Theodore Bent, was to experience the wonder of an island world which still retained the spiritual strength of its ancient traditions, customs and beliefs, at that time still not yet much affected by the arrival of modern civilisation. To travel with a notebook as he did, and to record in it the details of what he saw and experienced, and then to publish it, was to give not only to his contemporaries but also to us a legacy of description beyond price. His book, called The Cyclades, or life among the insular Greeks, appeared in London in 1885.
Bent’s very human eye was at one and the same time charming, friendly, respectful, and full of humour.