Through Bosnia and the Herzegovina on foot during the insurrection, August and September 1875

I brought this book with me to Sarajevo on the 6th February, by the 7th February violent protests had sprung up all over Bosnia. The presidency building, along with a beautiful white building, were totally destroyed by fire, due to there being chronic unemployment in the country, and a corrupt government in place unable to change the situation. The following quotation, from the preface of the book, seems particularly pertinent at present, despite being written a century and a half in the past.

“The tour described in this book was not in the slightest degree due to the Insurrection in Bosnia and the Herzegovina. It was planned before the outbreak… While I and my brother, Lewis Evans, who accompanied me throughout, were preparing for our journey, the Insurrection in the Herzegovina broke out, so that it was undertaken in spite of than by reason of that event. During our walk through Bosnia that country also burst into insurrection… Our only impedimenta consisted of the knapsack and sleeping gear on our backs, so that we were entirely independent; and being able to use our legs and arms and sleep out in the forest, we were able to surmount mountains and penetrate into districts which, I think I may say, have never been described, and it is possible ever visited, by an ‘European’ before… If this book should do anything to interest Englishmen in a land and people among the most interesting in Europe, and to open people’s eyes to the evils of the government under which the Bosniacs suffer, its object will have been fully attained… Those who are curious as to some of the most absorbing political problems of modern Europe; those who delight in out-of-the-way revelations of antiquity, and who perceive the high historic interest and ethnologic interest which attaches to the Southern Sclaves; and lastly those who take pleasure in picturesque costumes and stupendous forest scenery; will be amply rewarded by a visit to Bosnia… In the Historical Review of Bosnia I have attempted to elucidate and emphasise a most important aspect of Bosnian history – the connection, namely, between that till lately almost unknown land, and the Protestant Reformation of Europe, and the debt which even civilised England owes to that now unhappy country.”

Arthur J. Evans



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