1902 Encyclopedia > Eliot Batholomew George Warburton

Eliot Batholomew George Warburton
(usually known as: Eliot Warburton)
Irish traveller and novelist

ELIOT BARTHOLOMEW GEORGE WARBURTON (1810-1852), traveller and novelist, born in 1810 near Tullamore, Ireland, made a hit with his first book, The Crescent and the Cross. It was a book of Eastern travel, in Turkey, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, and fairly divided public attention with Mr Kinglake's Eothen, which appeared in the same year, 1844. Interest was centred in the East at the time, and Warburton had popular sympathy with him in his eloquent advocacy of the annexation of Egypt; but, apart from this harmony with the tastes of the time, the traveller had so many adventures, told them with such spirit, de-scribed what he saw with such picturesque vigour, and sketched character with such animation and generosity, that the success of the book on its merits was perfectly legitimate. Warburton was an Irishman, with an Irish-man's rhetoric and spirit of adventure, who, after an educa-tion at Cambridge, was called to the Irish bar, tried to settle down on his paternal estate, but very soon abandoned the management of his tenants for a life of nobler excitement. His first success as an author tempted him to try again, but he had unhappily a short career, and did not again equal The Crescent and the Cross. His most substantial work was a Memoir of Prince Rupert, published in 1849, enriched with original documents, and written with eloquent partiality for the subject. This was followed in 1850 by a novel, Reginald Hastings, the scenes of which were laid in the same period of civil war. It was much more commonplace than his travels, and showed no power of construction or felicity in the creation of character. He produced another historical novel, Darlen, or The Merchant Prince (1851). The knowledge therein shown of the in-habitants of the isthmus led to his selection by the Atlantic and Pacific Company to explore the country and negotiate a treaty with the Indian tribes. He sailed on this mission in the "Amazon," which perished by fire with nearly all on board on the 4th of January 1852.
His Life of the Earl of Peterborough was published posthumously in 1853. To the Memoirs of Hoi-ace Walpole (1851), nominally edited by him, he contributed, as he avowed in the preface, only his advice to the anonymous author and the countenance of his name.

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