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Sir Edwin Pears (March 18, 1835November 27, 1919) was a Britishmarker barrister, publicist, and historian. He lived in Constantinoplemarker for about forty years and he is known for his 1911 book Turkey and its People.

Early life

Pears was born on March 18, 1835 in Yorkmarker, Englandmarker. He was educated privately and at the University of London where he took first-class honours in Roman law and jurisprudence.

Pears was called to the Bar at Middle Templemarker in 1870. He was also private secretary to Frederick Temple, then Bishop of Exeter, and later Archbishop of Canterbury. Pears was also secretary to various associations connected with social work in Londonmarker.


Pears settled in Constantinoplemarker in 1873. He practised in the consular courts and becoming president of the European bar there. He rose to become one of the leaders of the British colony in Constantinople.

Pears travelled much through Turkish dominions, and studied Turkish history from both the Turkish and foreign perspectives.

In this way, Pears acquired an intimate knowledge of Turkeymarker. In 1876, as correspondent of The Daily News, he sent letters home describing Ottoman atrocities and the April Uprising in Bulgariamarker which aroused popular demonstrations in England led by William Gladstone. At the time, the reports of these atrocities were generally disbelieved and Pears' letters placed all the incontrovertible facts before the English people.

In 1885, Pears wrote The Fall of Constantinople, a Story of the Fourth Crusade. This book is regarded as essential reading for the study of the Ottoman constitutional revolution of 1908.

In 1909, Pears was knighted, returning to London to receive the honour in person on July 22, 1909.

In 1911, Pears wrote the book Turkey and its People. It is regarded as his most distinguished book. In that book, he displayed his expert knowledge of Byzantine Constantinople. The book contains original material on the nationalities of the Ottoman empire. The book was an attempt to interpret Turkey to the western people.


Pears died on November 27, 1919 in Maltamarker from an accident on his journey home from Constantinople.

See also




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