The letters in this collection were sent by the textile merchant John (Jack) McCaldin Loewenthal to his mother Jane at their home in Lennoxvale, Belfast, between 1889 and 1895. They were written during Jack's journeys to South America and the West Indies, where he was securing commercial contracts for the firm of linen and jute traders in which his father Julius Loewenthal was a senior partner. The letters are a diary-like account of his travels and travel impressions, also containing little anecdotes. They are contextualized by an overview of Jack's life, a genealogy, maps of his voyages, and helpful explanatory notes. Together, the letters provide insights into international trade, sea travel, and South American politics at the end of the 19th century. Jack was a first-hand and perceptive observer of many noteworthy events, including revolutions, economic turmoil, and international crime.
John McCaldin Loewenthal: Letters Home from a Victorian Commercial Traveller, 1889-1895
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