BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES OF RELEVANT PERSONS APPEARING IN THE WORK AND THEIR PORTRAITS
Bartlett, William Henry (1809-1854). P. 72
Begum Samru (1757-1832). P. 197
Berchtold, Count Friedrich (1781-1876). P. 77
Brooke, James (1807-1868). P. 249
Chateaubriand, François-René de (1768-1848). P. 157
Darlus, Marie-Geneviève-Charlotte, Madame d'Arconville (1720-1805). P. twenty
Dieing, Karl Moritz (1800-1867). P. 250
Dillon, Arthur Edmund, 16th century (1812-1892). P. 155
Doleschall, Carl Ludwig (1827-1859). P. 296
Eder, Josephine (ca. 1815-1868). P. 158
Ellis, William (1794-1872). P. 384
Elssler, Franziska (1810-1884). P. 158
Faber, Frederick (1796-1828). P. 154
File, Juliette (ca. 1811-1889). P. 389
Gerold, Carl (1783-1854). P. 232
Gerstäcker, Friedrich (1816-1872). P. 338
Gliemann, Theodor (1793-1828). P. 154
Hallgrimsson, Jonas (1807-1848). P. 154
Heckenast, Gustav (1811-1878). P. 151
Heloise d'Argenteuil (1101-1164) and Pierre Abelard (1079-1142). P. 371
Holub, Emil (1847-1902). P. 434
Humboldt, Alexander von (1769-1859). P. 231
Huntley, Henry Vere (1795-1864). P. 307
Ingram, Herbert (1811-1860) and Nathaniel Cook (-?). P. 110
Laborde, Jean (1805-1878). P. 395
Lamartine, Alphonse House of (1790-1869). P. 157
Lichtenstein, Hinrich (1780-1857). P. 231
Maria Leopoldine Josepha (1797-1826). P. 158
Miles, Pliny (1818-1865). P. 155
Murray, Amelia Matilda (1795-1884). P. 361
Pätel, Friedrich (1812-1888). P. 343
Pascoe, Francis Polkingthorne (1813-1893). P. 298
Pfeiffer, Ludwig Georg Karl (1805-1887). P. 298
Pfeiffer, Oscar (1824-1906). P. 62
Pomare IV, Queen of Tahiti (1813-1877). P. 172
Poppig, Eduard Friedrich (1798-1872). P. 361
Puckler-Muskau, Hermann Ludwig von (1785-1871). P. 157
Raffles, Thomas Stamford (1781-1826). P. 270
Reyer, Edward (1849-1914). P. 433
Reyer, Franz Thaddaus (1761-1846). P. 52
Ritter, Carl (1779-1859). P. 231
Sant Gener (272 AD - 305 AD). P. 100
Schmäck, Emilie Marie (1817-1886). P. 111
Schwaner, Carl Anton (1817-1851). P. 253
Schythe, Jorgen Christian (1814-1891). P. 154
Steenstrup, Johannes Japetus (1813-1897). P. 154
Thienemann, Friedrich August Ludwig (1793-1858). P. 154
Tuuk, Hermann Neubronner van der (1824-1894). P. 348
Wurzbach, Constantine von (1818-1893). P. 357
1. William Henry Bartlett was born in London and specialized in engravings of buildings, cities and landscapes, being one of the leading topographical illustrators of his generation. He traveled through England, Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, Sicily, the United States, Canada, the Balkans, Asia Minor, and the Middle East. His etchings appear in several works, some with him as sole author and others as draftsman.
Before coinciding with Ida Pfeiffer, he had already traveled through those places and had published the work Syria, The Holy Land, Asia Minor, etc. (1836). Then appeared the magnificent work American Scenery (1839-1840), which presented numerous illustrations of the northeastern United States and Canada. In 1846 he published Walks on the city and around Jerusalem, it was the trip he had made in 1842 and where there are numerous engravings of the places he visited together with Ida. Between 1849 and 1852 he was chief editor of Sharpe's London Magazine, where he would write two articles that made reference to the Austrian traveler. Bartlett died on September 13, 1854, probably of cholera, aboard the French ship Egyptus, returning from a voyage to Turkey and Greece. The ship was between Malta and Marseilles and Bartlett's corpse was thrown into the sea.
2. Begum Samru was the ruler of Sardhana, some eighty-five kilometers from Delhi, and the second wife of the adventurer and mercenary Walter Reinhardt, known by the nickname Sombre, an executioner by profession. Reinhardt had gone to India as a soldier in the French army and had been in the service of the Emperor of Bengal, until it was recaptured by the British in 1760. Thereafter he entered the service of several native princes, the last of whom was the Mughal emperor Xa Alam II, from whom he took charge of his battalions and received in return the pargana or administrative unit of Sardhana. Reinhardt died in 1778 and his widow Begum succeeded him and continued to maintain the military force.
Begum was the illegitimate daughter of an Indian of Arab descent, and had already mated with Reinhardt before becoming his wife. When it happened to his death, he took the direction of the troops, made up of five sipais battalions and 300 European officers including artillerymen, in addition to fifty cannons and an irregular cavalry corps. Begum's life was extraordinarily intense: she converted to Catholicism in 1781 and took the name Joanna Nobilis Sombre. She married the artillery chief, a Frenchman named Armand de Levassoult; both had to flee when they lost the support of the European officials and later Levassoult committed suicide thinking that Begum had died.
Power went to Zafaryab Khan, son of Reinhardt's first wife; but after a few months the British restored Begum to power and she submitted to their rule. He achieved a great fortune and gave large amounts to the Catholic churches of Madras, Calcutta, Agra and Bombay. Begum died in 1836 at the age of ninety and her principality passed to the British for lack of a direct heir. His fortune was first inherited by David Ochterlony Dyce-Sombre, net of Zafaryab Khan. When David died in 1851 without issue, a long lawsuit ensued over who should inherit the fortune. It was finally awarded in 1856 to his wife Mary Anne Jervis, daughter of the 2nd Viscount of St Vincent, despite having been a failed and scandal-ridden marriage. In this way, Jervis became the richest woman in England.
3. Friedrich Carl Eugen Vsemir Berchtold, Count of Ungarschütz, was one of the best-known representatives of the Bohemian family, in what is now the Czech Republic. He owned the castle of Buchlov, near Brno, in the Moravian region. He graduated from medical school in 1804, later practicing his profession and devoting much of his time to botany and natural history, authoring some renowned botanical works, such as the six-volume Ökonomisch-technische Flora Böhmens (1836 -1843). He left the medical practice and traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East and Brazil. In 1848 he founded, together with his half-brother Léopold, a museum in one of the wings of the castle to display his natural history collections. He also collaborated in the creation of the National Museum in Prague.
4. James Brooke was born in Bandel, near Calcutta. The father was an English judge of the British India Court of Appeal and the mother the daughter of a Scottish colonel. Brooke was sent to England at the age of twelve where he had a brief education at Norwich School; he was, however, a poor student, and soon fled, remaining for a time in Bath under the supervision of a tutor. In 1819 he returned to India as an officer in the Bengal Army of the British East India Company. He was badly wounded in Assam during the First Anglo-Burmese War and in 1825 returned to England to recover from his injuries. Five years later he returned to Madras but arrived too late and was unable to join his military unit. So he quit the job and returned to England via China. Brooke tried to trade in the Far East but without success until in 1833 he inherited £30,000 and invested it in the purchase of a 142-ton schooner, the Royalist. After several trips he arrived in Borneo in 1838, in Kuching, where there was an uprising against the Sultan of Brunei Muda Hashim. Very impressed by the beauty of that territory, he met Pangeran, the sultan's uncle, and helped him crush the rebellion.
Brooke's success in putting down the revolt was rewarded with the gratitude of the Sultan, who in 1841 offered him some estates, shares in the mined antimony, and the Governorate of Sarawak, which at the time consisted only of a small territory centered on Kuching. The following year, Sultan Omar Ali officially declared complete suzerainty and appointed him the Raja of Sarawak. Brooke, known since then as the Rajà Blanc, began to expand the territory that had been ceded to him and to form effective government structures: to reform the administration, to codify laws, to circulate a new currency, the Sarawak dollar, and above all to fight against the widespread piracy in the region, which was a serious problem throughout his tenure.
Some Bruneian nobles, hurt by the anti-piracy measures they profited from, agreed to assassinate Muda Hashim, but Brooke, assisted by a unit of the British squadron, attacked Brunei and restored its sultan to the throne. Brooke temporarily returned to England in 1847 and there he was appointed British Consul General to Borneo and was bestowed with the great distinction of Knight Commander Order of Bath. In 1851 he became the center of controversy when he was charged in the British Parliament with excessive use of force against the natives under the guise of anti-piracy operations. Three years later, a Commission of Inquiry was appointed in Singapore, which despite dropping the charges failed to clean up its image. Regardless, Brooke ruled Sarawak until his death in 1868.
5. François-René de Chateaubriand was a French writer of Breton origin who, in disagreement with the French Revolution, left for the United States in 1791, returned a year later and when he was wounded while enrolled in the royalist army, he took refuge in England. After having written several romantic and religious works, he wrote a revolutionary one, in which he was skeptical and denied the notion of progress. He was appointed secretary of the Embassy in Rome by Napoleon and once he resigned from this position he traveled through Greece, Palestine, Egypt and Spain, places that inspired him to two highly celebrated works, Itinerary from Paris to Jerusalem (1811) and The Adventures of the Denier Abencérage ( 1826).
6. Marie-Geneviève-Charlotte Darlus, known as the "woman of science of the Enlightenment", was the daughter of a family of wealthy farmers who, at the age of 14, married Louis-Lazare Thiroux de Arconville, counselor in the Parliament of Paris. Despite his passion for art, theater and opera, he gave up shows and life in society and withdrew to study physics, chemistry, medicine, natural sciences and history. She published numerous works, keeping most of them anonymous, although details were added to her writings that clearly identified her as the author.
7. Karl Moritz Diesing was an Austrian physician of Polish origin and also a zoologist, specializing in helminthology, the study of flat worms. He worked at the Naturalien Cabinet in Vienna and from 1836 was the curator of the zoological collections. In the late 1840s he suffered from severe eye problems and soon after lost his sight completely.
8. Arthur Edmund, Lord Dillon, was an English aristocrat of Irish origin, who, inheriting a good fortune on the death of his father, traveled to Iceland in 1834, when he was twenty-two years old and had already toured Lapland. Dillon's trip was quite particular but the reviewer from The Dublin Review does not comment: in Reykjavik he met a woman thirteen years older than him, Sire Ottesen, who worked at the restaurant where he ate. They fell in love and in June 1835 they had a daughter together. The intention was to get married but since he was Catholic he had to request a marriage license from the Danish chancellery and then his family prevented the landlord. Dillon had a house built for Sire but eventually left the country in the fall of that same year.
His descriptions of Icelanders reinforced negative stereotypes and were consistent with Pfeiffer's, when he commented on "Icelanders' dilatory habits and manners, some of them very unpleasant, such as passing milk from one bottle to another through the mouth." . In 1840 the account of that trip appeared with the title A Winter in Iceland and Lapland, but it made no mention of the love affair he had had.
9. Carl Ludwig Doleschall was a Slovakian physician who entered the service of the Dutch navy as a surgeon in 1853 and was stationed in Java and the island of Ambon, where he died of tuberculosis six years later at just thirty-one years of age. He mainly studied diptera (flies) and arachnids, but also collected coleoptera, butterflies, and beehives. His large collection of beetles was delivered to the National Museum in Budapest.
10. Josephine Eder was a child prodigy who received piano lessons from Carl Czerny. Starting in 1829, when she was only fourteen years old, she gave regular concerts in Vienna and, accompanied by her mother, toured Austria, Hungary and Germany. When she married the banker Isidor Löwenstern her acting career ended but the marriage was not happy and they divorced shortly. Josephine disappeared from public life until she returned to music thanks to her old friendship with Henry Vieuxtemps, who had been a child prodigy playing the violin. With him he made a two-year American tour (1843-1844). Aware of their Puritan environment, they were considered brothers, they returned to Europe, married and settled in Frankfurt.
11. William Ellis was an English missionary attached to the London Missionary Society, ordained in 1815. He was first sent to the South Sea islands with his first wife and stayed on Tahiti and Hawaii. In this last place, while he was looking for a suitable location to establish a mission, he learned their language, transcribed it into the Roman alphabet and helped set up a printing press. Back in London he wrote a rather successful work on his experiences in Polynesia and on topography, history, botany and ethnography. In 1830 he was selected as Assistant Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the London Missionary and its Principal Secretary two years later. His directors asked him to write a study on Madagascar, History of Madagascar, which was published in 1838.
Ellis felt in poor health and wanted to spend more time with his second wife, the first having died in 1835. But a few years later, his health restored, he accepted an offer from the London Missionary to travel to Madagascar as an official emissary. He arrived in 1853 but was thrown out by Malagasy officials for trying to open a mission and refused permission to go to the capital. He established his temporary base on the island of Mauritius with the intention of continuing to visit the big island, but he too was kicked out. Finally, in 1856, a few months before Ida's arrival, he paid a third visit and was allowed a month's stay by Queen Ranavalona, where he could intrigue for British interests. To record these events, he wrote the work Three visits to Madagascar during the years 1853-1854-1856.
12. Franziska “Fanny” Elssler was a famous Austrian dancer and choreographer. Her father was a valet and personal copyist for the composer Joseph Haydn, who recommended Fanny and her sister Therese to study ballet. At only six years old they were already part of the children's dance group of one of the most important theaters in Vienna and at the age of fifteen Fanny was already a celebrity with contracts to tour all over Europe with her sister. In 1824, while working at the San Carlo theater in Naples, he met Leopoldo de Borbón-Dos Sicílies, brother-in-law of María Leopoldine, the empress consort of Brazil. From that extramarital relationship Franz was born, Fanny's first son. Later he toured America, especially the United States, and in just one year he earned 750,000 francs, a great fortune at the time. He retired in 1845 at only forty-one years of age, having achieved the most resounding achievements.
13. Frederik Faber was a Danish zoologist, specialized in ornithology and especially in ichthyology. He received a scholarship to study the fauna of Iceland, an island that he toured between 1819 and 1821 and where he made a very significant collection. Regarding his studies, he published the work on birds Prodromus der isländischen Ornithologie (1822) and later another on fish, Naturgeschichte der Fische Islands (1829).
14. Juliette Fiche, also known as Princess Reniboto, was fifteen years younger than Ida, the daughter and niece of tribal chiefs of the Betsimisaraka ethnic group, who inhabited the center and north of the Madagascar coast and traded with the islands. Reunion and Mauritius. When the father was killed by another local chief, Juliette and her sister were taken in by a French sea captain and educated on the island of Réunion.
She returned to Madagascar in 1831 and as her brother and uncle had died without issue, she became heir to the entire clan and the most influential woman on the east coast of Madagascar. Marriages between local women and contractors were frequent; Thus, Juliette married Captain Savoy, who commanded the ship Saint Roch. With him she had two children, Ferdinand and Antoine. In 1844, when Savoy disappeared from her life (it is unknown if she died or left), Juliette married another Frenchman, named Picoron, who had to leave only a year later, forced by Queen Ranavalona. Juliette then became the companion of Napoléon de Lastelle, the most important merchant on the east coast of Madagascar. Lastelle died in June 1856, ten months before Ida arrived in Tamatave.
15. Gerold was an Austrian publisher and printer, son of Josef Gerold, the founder of the publishing house in 1775, the oldest in Austria and still active today. Carl learned the trade of book trading and printing after the untimely deaths of his father and brother. It became the most important publisher in the country, incorporated lithography into typography and became a pioneer in printing and modern book publishing, being able to publish high-quality and illustrated works. His bookstore was the largest in Vienna and always offered a large number of books in foreign languages. The most recognized artists and authors of his time published their works in this publishing house, especially those on scientific matters, since Gerold had a great interest in natural sciences and especially medicine.
Once freedom of the press was proclaimed in Austria after the 1848 revolution, Gerold also dedicated himself to the newspaper business and was the owner of Die Ostdeutsche Post, Der Lloyd, Die Presse or Das Fremdblatt, which published several articles on the trips of 'Going.
16. Friedrich Gerstäcker was a famous German novelist and traveler. He started traveling very young after reading Robinson Crusoe, which gave him a taste for adventure. He toured the United States for six years, working many different trades: firefighter, tradesman, or hunter and trapper in Indian Territory. The notes from the trip were sent home and her mother showed them to an editor who published them in her magazine, called Rosen. The success was such that he began to write adventure novels and continued to travel through North and South America, Polynesia, Australia, Egypt and Abyssinia.
17. Theodor Gliemann was a German cartographer and naturalist known for his topographical works, achieved thanks to the financial support of wealthy individuals. He was the author of a geographical description of Iceland, Greographische Beschreibung von Island, published in 1824.
18. Jónas Hallgrímsson, Icelandic poet and naturalist, revered in his country as a national hero, undertook numerous trips around the island in order to describe it and carry out geological research, collect antiquities and investigate runic inscriptions, a huge job. He was awarded a grant by the Danish Finance Office to help two Danish naturalists, Japetus Steenstrup and Johann Christian Schythe, to investigate commercially exploitable natural resources in Iceland, work that lasted from 1839 to 1842.
19. Gustav Heckenast was a Hungarian publisher and bookseller of German origin, very undulating in his time, the most important in the entire Austro-Hungarian empire. Many books and periodicals and magazines were associated with his name and he published the works of the most important Hungarian authors of the time. During the revolution of 1848 he took sides in favor of the "Hungarian freedom struggle" and had to answer for these acts in court. Heckenast was related to the German printer and publisher Friedrich Otto Wigand of Leipzig, and therefore Pfeiffer's book was also sold in Germany. Wigand published texts by Friedrich Engels and was the printer of the first edition of Karl Marx's first volume, Das Kapital, a thousand copies in all.
20. Heloïsa d'Argenteuil was the daughter of a scandalous relationship between the abbess of the Fontevraud monastery and a French seneschal. As a child she lived in the Argenteuil convent and as a teenager her uncle Fulbert, canon of Notre Dame de Paris, took over. As she stood out for her philosophical gifts, she was instructed by a monk, the philosopher and theologian Pierre Abelard, with whom she had a clandestine relationship and had a son named Astrolabe. She went into exile in Brittany and Abelard proposed to her and they married in secret, but to avoid the wrath of her uncle Fulbert, Heloise secluded herself in the Argenteuil convent.
Fulbert thought thinking that Abelard abandoned his niece and hired hit men who castrated him while he slept. Fulbert was removed from his position and exiled and Abelard secluded himself in the convent of Saint Denis in Paris, where he was reunited with Heloise, who became abbess of the same convent. Both began a fertile correspondence in which the strength of their love was claimed and the misfortunes that had occurred lamented. The remains of the two lovers were buried in the Paraclet abbey that both had founded in the Champagne region, until in 1817 they were moved to the Père Lachaise cemetery, although the authenticity of the remains is questioned.
21. Emil Holub, born in the Czech Republic, was a doctor, explorer, zoologist and botanist who traveled on three expeditions to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Holub also collected new plant species and insects for science. He fell ill with malaria and died in Vienna in 1902 from this cause, when he was fifty-four years old.
22. Alexander von Humboldt was a prominent German explorer, naturalist, and geographer who began studying natural sciences at the University of Göttingen, the most famous of that time in Germany. After traveling through Europe for a time he devoted himself to the study of geology, botany, geography, astronomy, and zoology. He organized a great scientific expedition to South America with another naturalist, the French botanist Aimé Bonpland; both left Caracas and crossed the Orinoco River until they communicated with the Amazon; they crossed the Andes until they reached Quito and during the trip they ascended the Chimborazo and the Pichincha. Humboldt also went to Cuba, later to Mexico and later to the United States, invited by President Thomas Jefferson. The expedition lasted five years, from 1799 to 1804, and the discoveries in terms of geography and natural sciences were immense: in fact, Humboldt laid the foundations for the study of biogeography.
In 1829 he participated in a new expedition to Central Asia (Urals, Altai, Jungària and Caspian Sea) and later he devoted himself exclusively to writing his magnum opus, Kosmos (1845-1862), which was to collect all the scientific knowledge of the time. Humboldt enjoyed a great reputation in Germany and abroad: at the Berlin Academy of Sciences he was recognized as "the leading scientific figure of the time" and the Paris Academy of Sciences gave him the nickname "New Aristotle". . Johann Wolfgang von Goethe himself acknowledged that he learned more by talking to Humboldt for an hour than by reading books for eight days.
23. Henry Vere Huntley was a British naval officer and colonial administrator who represented a British mining company, the Anglo-Californian Mining Company, engaged in the extraction of gold and quartz. Huntley wrote a work in 1856, California: its gold and its inhabitants, describing business and social life in San Francisco and his visits to Marysville, Sacramento, and Placerville to supervise large-scale mining operations.
24. Nathaniel Cooke and Herbert Ingram were brothers-in-law and publishing partners. They produced many titles on history, travel guides and other subjects and were co-founders, with Mark Lemon, editor of Punch magazine, of the prestigious The London Illustrated News magazine, which was active from 1842 to 2003.
Cooke is also known for having designed in 1835 or 1839 a set of chess pieces that he engraved in 1849 at the United Kingdom Patent Office. Chess player Howard Staunton wrote a regular column on the game in Cooke's magazine and advertised his figures. The success was such that the "Staunton chess set" was even sold, with the figures made of ivory or wood and accompanied by a copy of the chess treatise written by Staunton himself. Currently, these pieces are considered the standard model since they were selected in 1924 by the International Chess Federation.
An American by birth, Ingram tragically died on September 8, 1860, along with his son, in a boating accident on Lake Superior near the town of Winetka, Wisconsin, when the steamer he was aboard, the Lady Elgin, collided with the schooner Augusta and sank. Of the four hundred passengers on the Lady Elgin only ninety-eight survived.
25. Jean Laborde was the son of a wealthy seller and as a young man served a few years in a cavalry regiment. But his spirit was adventurous, he wanted to see the world and after his father died he embarked for the East Indies. In Bombay he founded several companies dedicated to the repair of steam engines and the manufacture of weapons and successfully established a dealership where leather saddles were manufactured for horse riding. Shortly after, he handed over his companies to a friend and set out to travel through the Indian archipelago.
In 1832, when he was twenty-six years old, a storm wrecked his ship off the southeast coast of Madagascar, and he lost everything. The natives found him and the crew and took him a hundred miles away in front of a vazaha, a "white stranger." This was Napoléon de Lastelle, a wealthy merchant and French government agent who exploited sugar cane and rum and sold cattle and slaves to the islanders of Bourbon and Mauritius with permission from Queen Ranavalona. Lastelle offered Laborde a job and quickly observed his virtues, he was hardworking and ingenious, capable of repairing any machine and with great talent as a smith.
Lastelle wrote to the queen explaining that Laborde had some training as an engineer, he could produce cannon, muskets and gunpowder, much needed by the Malagasy because they had broken relations with the French and British. After a long wait and a complex protocol, Laborde arrived in Antananarivo and Ranavalona liked him in every way, he was seventeen years younger than her and she offered him a contract to manufacture rifles and a multitude of objects related to forging, casting, stationery, pottery or glassware.
Lastelle found a woman through Laborde, a mixed-race woman named Émilie Roux who allowed her to easily learn the Malagasy language and integrate into their culture. His benefactor gave him the Roret Encyclopedia, in thirty-two volumes, for his wedding, which he would use to learn complex and modern mechanical, industrial or chemical techniques. The queen granted Laborde large tracts of land, unlimited labor and the necessary materials to establish factories with which to equip his army with modern weapons and not depend on the French and English. With the help of five other Europeans, he was able to build a true industrial city in Mantasoa, forty kilometers from Antananarivo, where around 1,500 workers lived and where cast and wrought iron was produced, a steel plant, muskets, a gunpowder mill , twenty-four-pound cannon, metal lathes, water mills, a glassworks, soaps, candles, bricks and cement, machine-spun cotton and textile mills, and a rum distillery. In addition, he taught to plant sugar cane on a regular basis and successfully cultivated wheat.
Between 1839 and 1842 Laborde built in Antananarivo the royal enclosure "Rova", the residence of the queen, known as Manjakamiadana, "where it is easy to reign", a colossal project made entirely of wood in which 25,000 workers participated without receiving neither salary nor food. Laborde became a very powerful and influential man, very close to Malagasy royalty and possibly a lover of the queen herself.
26. Alphonse Casa de Lamartine was a French poet, novelist, playwright, and major political figure who participated in the February Revolution of 1848 and proclaimed the Second Republic. In 1820 he held a short-lived role at the French embassy in Naples which, however, allowed him to travel through Italy and England. In 1830 he resigned from this position and undertook a trip to the East, where he visited Greece, Lebanon and the holy places of Christianity, with the intention of reaffirming his religious beliefs, especially after the death in Lebanon of his little daughter Julie. He wrote about his experiences in a very successful work, Souvenirs, impressions, pensées et paysages pending a voyage in the Orient (1832-1833), known simply as Voyage in the Orient.
27. Hinrich Lichtenstein was a renowned German physician, botanist and zoologist born in Hamburg. Between 1802 and 1806 he traveled through southern Africa and became the personal physician to the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, specializing in the study of reptiles and amphibians. Later he was appointed professor of zoology at the University of Berlin (1811) and director of the Museum of Zoology (1813), which would later become the magnificent Museum of Nature (Museum für Naturkunde). He was responsible for creating the Berlin Zoological Garden in 1841 after convincing King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia of its need.
28. Maria Leopoldine Josepha, daughter of Emperor Franz I of Austria, was empress consort of Brazil and queen consort of Portugal, having married Pedro de Alcantara, who would later be King Pedro I of Brazil (between 1822 and 1836) and Pedro IV of Portugal (March 10 to April 2, 1826), known as "The Liberator" or "The Soldier King". Maria Leopoldine had a great interest in natural sciences and this caused several naturalists and scientists of the time to live at the Brazilian court. The queen died in Rio de Janeiro on December 11, 1826, at only twenty-nine years old due to puerperal fever, one month after giving birth to her seventh son, who would also be Emperor of Brazil under the name of Pedro II.
29. Pliny Miles was an American lawyer born in Watertown, next to Lake Ontario, considered a rather eccentric author with extravagant ideas. During his youth he was a "traveling mnemonics lecturer", giving talks on the art of improving memory. He had published a system with the idea of memorizing difficult or familiar words by using well-known words or phrases with sounds that almost correspond to those of the word to be memorized. Thus, he advised the following absurdities: for the battle of Marengo one would have to memorize "Marry and go" (marry and leave); for Lake Manitoba, "Man at bar" (man at the bar); for the Borodino battle, “Borrow a dinner” (borrow a dinner); by the Saskatchewan River, “Seis, catch a swan” (little sister, catch a swan), or by the French word “Reconnoitre”, “Reach an oyster” (reach an oyster).
Miles had been secretary of the New York Postal Reform Committee and was calling for the repeal of the law authorizing a new service, saying that the mail registry was conducive to diminishing its security since it served only to identify letters that had been stolen. He also had the “great idea”, it was written, that in order to reduce the postage of letters, which was very expensive, it was necessary to impose a single rate of 1 cent for any distance from the United States.
30. Matilda Murray was a writer belonging to the English aristocracy, who became a Maid of Honor to Queen Victoria. In 1854 he began a trip through North America and Cuba and two years later he published his experiences in the form of letters in the work Letters from The United States, Cuba and Canada, where he dealt extensively with slavery, it was one of the recurring themes of the book. At the beginning, he explained that he did not defend slavery and that Christianity would subdue it, "not teaching us to vilify and persecute less fortunate brothers who have suffered the curse of human possessions, but enlightening the dark and instructing the ignorant, and even , if necessary, rendering that property commercially worthless. No individual selfishness and no political intrigue can prevent the desired consummation; and I firmly believe that there are few, very few, even in the South, who will not cheer with joy the moment of emancipation, a movement currently delayed by doubts and fears. This is my first point of view on a controversial issue but it may change it and change it completely; but in the meantime that's how I see it."
Certainly Murray changed his opinion radically, since in the end he ended by saying that “slavery does for the Negro what the Europeans try in vain through recruitment. It ensures work and subsistence for all and also ensures order and subordination. After this very reactionary thought at an advanced time, the criticism against Murray was devastating and she was forced to resign her position as "woman of the bedchamber" of the queen, her "lady of the bedroom or waiting room".
31. Friedrich Pätel was a German politician who was very fond of malacology, he had one of the largest private collections of snails of the 19th century, valued at more than 60,000 marks at the time, and for a long time he was the world reference for taxonomic questions. When Pätel died in 1888, his children decided to give his collection to the Natural History Museum in Berlin "as a permanent memory of its creator and former owner." The only condition was that no specimen could be sold or exchanged and that all the pieces were labeled indicating the origin of the collection.
32. Francis Polkingthorne Pascoe was an English surgeon who served in the Navy and traveled throughout Australia, the West Indies, and the Mediterranean. Later, already as a naturalist entomologist specializing in coleoptera, he collected specimens throughout Europe, North Africa and the lower part of the Amazon River. He classified many of the species collected by Alfred Wallace that ended up in the British Museum.
33. Ludwig Georg Karl Pfeiffer was a German physician, botanist, and malacologist. He gave up medical practice to dedicate himself to botanical studies, first of all on the different varieties of cacti. To this end he traveled to Cuba, where he stayed for two years, but he devoted himself more and more to the study of land snails, of which he was a great specialist. Between 1840 and 1843 he traveled through France, Hungary, and the Austrian and Italian Alps, publishing various works on his findings. Interestingly, Count Joseph zu Sal-Reifferscheidt, the botanist who had met Ida Pfeiffer in the Holy Land, classified a genus of cacti with the name Pfeiffera after Ludwig Pfeiffer.
34. Oscar Pfeiffer revealed his vocation and musical aptitudes from a young age in a family in which music played an important role, although he was not destined to pursue an artistic career since the family preferred that he dedicate himself to letters or science. He also carried out preparatory studies and enrolled in the Polytechnic School of Vienna; and if musical practice, until then, had been a pastime, now it became the center of his priorities. His family confirmed his great artistic skills and allowed him to abandon his studies at the age of fifteen and to be guided by Karl Anton Halm, one of the most prestigious piano teachers in Vienna; and he would also have received classes from Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, the German composer, pianist and conductor of the early romantic period. Oscar spent ten to twelve hours a day studying the piano and this caused him health problems that would recur several times throughout his life.
The first public performance took place in Vienna on November 12, 1844 in the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Hall, when he was only seventeen years old. In all probability Ida would have attended the concert, she had been back from the Holy Land for two years and would not go to Iceland for another five months. The program he presented included a trio by Johann Nepomuk Hummel for piano, violin and cello and several Lieder (German compositions for voice and piano), one of them his own, performed by Italian singers from the Royal and Imperial Theater in Vienna.
One reviewer said that Pfeiffer succeeded in overcoming the difficulties that every artist faces in their debut, "finding and conquering an audience that is demanding at the same time." He was described as a modest, discreet young man who did not want to be either a Liszt or a Thalberg although he had studied them at school; his desire was to make music and demonstrate his skills on the basis of the long studies he had done. In any case, the inclusion of entertaining and comic pieces in the program testifies that one of its main objectives, and that it would be a benchmark in the future, was to win over the public through the "joy and mild state of mind" that the pieces came off.
Finding himself in the Austrian capital Hector Berlioz, one of Ida's banker brothers asked the French musician for advice on the teacher the young man should have in Paris. After listening to him, Berlioz stated that Oscar did not need to take lessons, he would only need to go to Paris to perfect "his taste and listen to the cosmopolitan music" that was performed in the French capital. With this aim, Pfeiffer gave a second concert in Vienna and then spent the winter of 1845-1846 in Paris.
Between 1846 and 1848, around the same time that Ida spent on her first trip around the world, Oscar toured the Russian empire giving concerts in various cities, including St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Odessa. He returned to Vienna to rest and recover from his efforts, to meditate and also dedicate himself to the study of music, and then he made other trips through Europe, in particular Leipzig, Dresden, Hannover and Hamburg. From this last city he went to London and later Lisbon, with the intention of embarking in Brazil. In Lisbon he gave six concerts in three weeks and obtained extraordinary success and a decoration from Queen Maria II of Portugal.
In 1850 he presented some of his variations with the left hand in Porto, it was one of his main aptitudes and they always aroused admiration. In Spain he also made very successful presentations in Madrid, Seville and Cádiz and was fascinated by the Iberian world. That same year he went to the American continent and gave concerts in the Antilles, Cuba and the United States, where he had enormous success with a repertoire that included pieces composed by himself. In 1852, both in Paris and in Portugal and Spain, he continued to give concerts with absolute success. Oscar married the daughter of an agricultural plantation owner in Lisbon, but it is unknown what year it was and therefore if he was already married when Ida saw him in São Miguel in the Azores, where after concert tours he used to take refuge to recover from work excesses.
Pfeiffer arrived in Mexico at the end of 1855 and achieved an amazing triumph. It was said that "at the end of the century his performances will still be remembered as he was evidently superior to Heinrich Herz, whose school is not comparable to that of the modern princes of the piano". Still in 1895, an article appeared in Mexico where he explained why his performance was so popular: “He mastered the brightness of the effects on the piano like few others with his fingers as strong and flexible as the best steel; one could exactly observe Pfeiffer's arm, which remained as motionless as if it were that of a marble statue.
Between 1857 and the beginning of 1858 he remained in the Azores to recover from the fatigue of this tour. But the same year 1858, from Lisbon, he embarked in the direction of Rio de Janeiro where he organized three concerts during the month of March at the Teatro Lírico Fluminense, the most important in which opera was sung, and music critics recognized "an extraordinary ingenuity in brilliant execution; expression and love in colouring, and especially enormous skill in pieces written for the left hand”. Pfeiffer was invited by King Pedro II to play at his palace and achieved overwhelming success.
In the second of these concerts, held on April 4, he had the participation of the soprano Anna de La Grange from Stankowitch, a French singer of international projection who was supported by composers such as Gioacchino Rossini or Jacob Meyerbeer and had played the role of Violetta at the first performance of Verdi's La Traviata in New York. In mid-October 1858, Oscar arrived in Montevideo from Rio and surprisingly explained to the newspaper La Nación that he had been born in this city when his parents made a trip to South America a year before his birth; and once he was born they immediately returned to Europe. Oscar had visited the newsroom of this newspaper and had delivered a letter from Luis Antonio Navarro de Andrade, editor-in-chief of Diario do Río de Janeiro, which read the following:
Mr. Pfeiffer leaving for Montevideo and Buenos Aires, and being the bearer of this letter, I beg you to honor him and recommend him to your other colleagues as your compatriot, since he was fortunate to be born in Montevideo. Oscar has been musically educated in Germany and returns to his native country to reveal to his compatriots that his artistic quality as a piano virtuoso has made his name appear in Europe on a par with Thalberg and Liszt.
This is very surprising news since Ida and her husband are not known to have made any trip to South America that would have lasted a year until Oscar's birth. Although it is true that between December 1823 and October of the following year there is no news of Ida, this trip to Montevideo would seem very unlikely and we could rather think of a ploy by Oscar or his commercial agent to win the favor of the Uruguayan public. , although he was already preceded by the success of the previous race and should not have needed any strange stratagem to be more valued.
Pfeiffer is going to play in Montevideo at the Teatro Solís on November 4, a week after his mother died. It was a “memorable concert” and a chronicler of the time wrote that “Mr. Pfeiffer is for us an artist of genius and heart. Sitting in front of his piano, he becomes enthusiastic and makes the spectator participate in that same enthusiasm, communicating his feelings through the notes with an inexplicable delicacy and sweetness”. On November 11 and December 2, he performed at the Casa de Comedias, later the San Felipe Theater, with the same success; and the President of the Republic, Gabriel Antonio Pereira, invited him to the Government House and a concert was organized in which he performed his and Thalberg's variations on the operas "Ernani", "Lucrecia Borgia" and "El elisir d amore". .
Oscar Pfeiffer was then thirty-four years old and at the peak of his career as a virtuoso and composer. The demonstration he did with his left hand was not simply a test of artistic acrobatics, but also that he had the ability to sing under conditions of the greatest technical difficulty, thus his achievements were understood. At the end of 1858 he arrived in Buenos Aires and there he learned of his mother's death.
Pfeiffer stayed in Buenos Aires devoting himself to teaching piano and composition. Here he met the soprano Giuditta Altieri, actually Mary Judith, born in Dublin, known as "La Paloma", and they were married in early 1863, probably in Italy (what happened to his first wife is unknown). Oscar made numerous artistic representations with Giuditta, especially in the United States. In October 1866 he presented a concert in New York with the contralto Eliza Lumley-Blath and the baritone JR Thomas; the following year another with Giuditta Altieri, Ignace Pollack and a sextet of instrumentalists and in 1869 a new success in Boston. The reviews were glowing and confirmed that Pfeiffer was one of the best pianists following the Austrian classical tradition and was also considered one of the first "modern pianists".
Giuditta left the stage in the early 1870s and gave only sporadic performances until her death in Rio de Janeiro in 1884; it was said that he had previously ended his relationship with Pfeiffer. He had returned to Rio in 1882 but the audition at the Beethoven Club did not have much resonance as the great pianist was entering "the decrepitude of his brilliant technique, which was precisely his main virtue".
Oscar Pfeiffer continued to live in Buenos Aires but from November 1887 he went to Lisbon, where he worked as a piano and singing teacher, counting from the beginning with a considerable number of students. Finally he returned to Buenos Aires, where he died on August 4, 1906. The obituary note in the Buenos Aires newspaper La Nación said that “Huesca Pfeiffer, the unfortunate artist who one day was exalted in the art of the piano, will die yesterday in Belgrano at eighty-two years old, forgotten and poor.
35. Pomare IV, also known as Aimata, which means "eye eater" because of the ancient custom of rulers to eat the eyes of a defeated enemy, was Queen of Tahiti between 1827 and 1877. She was the daughter of Pomare II and a maid of Pomare I and her brother Pomare III succeeded when he died, she was only fourteen years old. In 1843, the French declared Tahiti their protectorate and this triggered the bloody Franco-Tahitian War (March 1844 to December 1846) involving all the kingdoms of the Society Islands. After suffering heavy casualties on both sides, France won the conflict and Pomare IV agreed to rule under French administration and return to Papeete from his exile.
36. Eduard Friedrich Pöppig was a German botanist, zoologist and explorer well known for his scientific explorations, specifically in Cuba, the United States, Peru and Brazil, where he crossed the Andes and sailed throughout the Amazon. His book Reise in Chile, Peru, und auf dem Amazonenstrome während der Jahre 1827-1832 (1834-1836), was an enormous success and is considered one of the most precious travel books of the 19th century. When Pöppig returned from the trip he became a professor of zoology at the University of Leipzig and there he deposited the collections of natural and ethnological objects collected on his long journey.
37. Prince Hermann Ludwig von Pückler-Muskau was a German nobleman, born in the castle of Muskau, in Saxony. He was an excellent landscape artist and wrote many appreciated books, mainly about his travels in Europe and North Africa, published under the name "Semilasso".
38. Thomas Stamford Raffles, a British politician and naturalist born on a ship off the coast of Jamaica, is known as the "Father of Singapore", a city founded by himself. Raffles worked for the British East India Company and in 1805 was posted to Malaya, first to the island of Penang and later to Malacca, where his knowledge of the Malay language and his wit did not go unnoticed by Lord Minto, then Governor-General of India. . When the British invasion of Java occurred in 1811, Raffles was commissioned a lieutenant and during this time lived in Buitenzorg.
A little later, when Java returned to Dutch hands, he was appointed lieutenant governor of Bengkulu (1818), on the southwest coast of Sumatra, until the Treaty of London was signed in 1824, in which the British ceded Bengkulu to the Dutch. and they stopped claiming the lands north of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore was free for the British. Raffles included the account of the two missionaries in the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society of the year 1827 under the title Report of Journey in the Batak Country, in the interior of Sumatra, in that of 1824.
39. Eduard Reyer was a geologist and jurist born in Salzburg. The mineral name reyerita, from the silicate class, was given in his honor. Eduardo was the son of the surgeon Alexander Reyer, who had worked in Graz, the capital of Styria. It would be a relative of Ida but the exact link is unknown.
40. Franz Thaddäus Reyer was an important character of the time. He was the son of an accountant and was born in 1761 in Malborghetto, currently in the Italian province of Udine, very close to the southern Austrian border, in Carinthia. After studying philosophy and theology in Klagenfurt, in 1781 he met someone influential who recognized his abilities and went to Trieste, right on the border between Italy and Slovenia, to work as an educator for the Strohlendorfs, a merchant family of Dutch origin, being hired soon after as a commercial employee. In 1783 he went to the United States to work for this family's company as a cargo supervisor and achieved the first deals in the sale of merchandise between Trieste and Baltimore, where he became friends with Benjamin Franklin.
Five years later he returned to Trieste and in 1788 founded his own shipping company, Pellegrini & Reyer, associated with a businessman named Pellegrini. In 1799 he founded the company Reyer & Schlik, now associated with the merchant Schlik from Trieste, becoming one of the largest companies of the Austrian monarchy in the branches of insurance, banking and industry. He soon realized the importance of insurance in maritime trade and in 1803 became co-director of the Trieste insurance company Scrittoio di Sicurtà. His solid focus on commercial matters earned him respect and trust from both the authorities and his fellow citizens; in 1805 he was appointed a member of the Council of Commerce; member of the Commercial and Exchange Court in 1806; deputy of the stock market in 1807 and Councilor of the city in 1808.
During the period of the French invasion from 1809 to 1813, Franz Thaddäus returned to Vienna and founded a new company. Returning to Trieste in 1813, he bought a sugar refinery and six years later coal mines at Wiener Neustadt in Lower Austria. This refinery, the Wiener Neustädter Zuckerfabrik, the most important in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, produced 3,000-4,000 pounds of raw sugar annually, but with the introduction of new machines and improved production methods, productions of 40,000 pounds were reached in a very short time. annual. Bypassing the continental blockade, it imported large quantities of goods from the United States and England through Russian, Polish and Turkish ports and later exported them to Germany and France. Reyer had branches in London, America, the West Indies, and the Far East; he was president of the Trieste insurance company Azienda assicuratrice. In 1822, after becoming involved in the steamboat company that would become Lloyd's in 1836, he was appointed president of the company and general manager of Österreichischen Lloyd. In 1826 he was ennobled and in 1834 knighted. When he died in Trieste in 1846, his sons Franz Xaver, Karl Ferdinand and Constantin, Ida's first cousins, took over the management of the company.
41. Carl Ritter was a German naturalist and geographer, considered along with Alexander von Humboldt as the father of modern geography when it came to explaining the relationships between the physical environment and human life. From 1820 until his death he held the Chair of Geography at the University of Berlin. Ritter's nineteen-volume masterpiece, Die Erdkunde im Verhältniss zur Natur und zur Geschichte des Menschen (The General Geography in Relation to Nature and the History of Mankind), was written between 1817 and 1859 but was left incomplete by his death. , when it had only covered the Asian and African chapters.
42. San Gennaro (Gennaro in Italian) is a saint and martyr, bishop of Benevento (Campania), sentenced to death in the year 305 by the Roman emperor Diocletian. According to Christian tradition, first they put him in an oven, from where he came out alive and without burns; then he emerged unscathed from the attack of the wild beasts on the amphitheater and was finally beheaded. The fame of this saint is due to the fact that for about four hundred years, on three occasions throughout the year, on September 19 (the day of his death), December 16 (during the celebration as patron saint of the city on the occasion of of the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 1631) and on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May (date of transfer of the body and reunification of its relics), a singular event occurs, the liquefaction of the saint's blood. This blood is contained in two small hermetically sealed bottles, kept since the 17th century in a silver reliquary. The smallest bottle contains only a few reddish stains on its walls, since the rest was supposedly extracted and taken to King Carlos III of Spain. The largest bottle, with a capacity of approximately 60 ml. and almond-shaped, it is 60% filled with a dark reddish substance.
After intense prayers by the faithful, the priest exposes on the altar, before an urn containing the saint's head, the normally solid black blood from the large bottle. Then it becomes liquid and red and increases in volume. The priest picks up the jar and tilts it again to show that liquefaction has occurred. The bottles remain exposed on the altar for eight days while the priests periodically move or rotate them to demonstrate that the contents remain liquid. This liquefaction can occur immediately or take hours or even days, but it is almost always liquefied. Although the Catholic Church has always supported this celebration, it has never made an official statement on the phenomenon and maintains a neutral position regarding scientific investigations, but it does not allow the vials to be opened because they do not cause irreparable damage and this makes a detailed analysis impossible.
Various scientific explanations have been proposed to clarify this fact, as it is a photosensitive, hygroscopic material with a low melting point or a thixotropic gel, but they would not be completely satisfactory since they do not take into account the variability of the phenomenon or its lack of correlation with ambient temperature. In the last experiments of the year 2010 it was possible to change the solid-liquid phase of the blood, but it could not be clearly explained: “There is no unequivocal scientific fact that explains why these changes occur. It is not enough to attribute the ability to dissolve blood to movement, the liquid contained in the relic changes its state for reasons yet to be identified”. Finally they concluded that "there is blood, but no miracle." Taking into account that in the Campania region, and practically nowhere else, there are records of other cases of blood liquefaction, it has been speculated that local alchemists may have had a secret recipe to make this type of relic.
43. Emilia Schmäck was born in London and was the daughter of the merchant Augustus Schmäck and Anna Wüstefeld, a family related to the Reyers. He studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in London between 1837 and 1844 and became interested in genre, interior, figure and portrait painting. From 1844 he dedicated himself to painting professionally, both in Vienna and in Venice. In 1861 she married Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich Ludwig von Stregen in Graz, son of Felix von Stregen, an engineering officer who drew up the first railway route through Semmering in Lower Austria, very close to Wiener Neustadt.
44. Carl Anton Schwaner, German geologist and naturalist associated with the Leiden Natural History Museum, became a member of the Dutch East Indies Commission in 1842. That same year he arrived in Batavia and between 1843 and 1848 he carried out geological, topographical, zoological, botanical and ethnographic investigations in Borneo. From November 1847 to February 1848, he walked from the town of Banjamarsin in the south of the island to Pontianak on the west coast, becoming the first European to accomplish this feat. He returned to Batavia to evaluate his findings but three years later, in 1851, he probably died of malaria, at only thirty-four years old, when he was preparing to undertake a new scientific mission in Borneo. Most of Schwaner's notes were published posthumously, between 1853 and 1854, in Borneo. Beschrijving van het stroomgebied van den Barito, which contained many high-quality illustrations.
45. Jørgen Chrikstian Schythe was a Danish chemist who had received a royal warrant to undertake geological surveys in northwestern Greenland (1838) and Iceland (1839-1840). He made the most complete and detailed description of the Hekla volcano in 1846 and later of Skanderborg County. Once the absolutist monarchy of Frederik VII was dissolved and the first Schleswig war against Prussia (1848-1850) ended, which meant the end of the Danish golden age, Scythe emigrated to Chile via California and became a professor of physics and natural history. at the Liceo de Concepción and soon after governor of the Magallanes Territory from its capital, Punta Arenas (1853-1865), where he carried out extensive meteorological measurements and collaborated in the zoological and ethnographic collections of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
46. Johannees Japetus Steenswtrup was a Danish zoologist, botanist and geologist, professor at the University of Copenhagen and director of the Zoological Museum. He had studied the numerous remains of marine and malacological fauna of the Danish coasts since 1837 and 1840, he traveled to Iceland where he found fossil plants from the Miocene geological period (between five and twenty-three million years ago), which meant the means to interpret climatic changes. and of vegetation, which he called “ecological succession”. He also discovered the principle of alternating generations in some parasitic worms, alternating generation, a phenomenon whereby reproduction occurred in two phases, sexual and asexual.
Steenstrup was a member of numerous scientific Academies such as the Bavarian, Göttingen, Saint Petersburg, Swedish, and Prussian Academies, as well as the Leopoldina, the Royal Society, and the American Philosophical Society, and he maintained correspondence and sent fossils with Darwin, who he explicitly thanked him in his work. He was also editor of the prestigious magazine Flora Danica.
47. Friedrich August Thienemann was a German doctor and ornithologist who went to Iceland to collect flowers and other natural objects and stayed there for thirteen months. About this exploration he wrote the work Reise im Norden Europa's vorzüglich en Island in den Jahren 1820 bis 1821 (1824-1827).
48. Hermann Neubronner van der Tuuk, a Dutch missionary linguist working for the Protestant Nederlands Bijbel Genootschap (“Bible Translation Society”), was the first European to see Lake Toba in 1853. Tuuk was well versed in Indonesian languages and the main interest of that association was to translate the Bible into Batak to prevent the progression of Islamism, prevalent in the south of the island. Van der Tuuk was the author of a two-volume Batak grammar and translator of the Bible into that language. He, too, fell ill with fevers, liver troubles, and recurring depressions, and returned to Holland in 1856.
49. Constantin von Wurzbach was born in Slovenia and studied law in Graz, but dropped out two years later and enlisted in the Austrian army, in the Galician Infantry regiment. First he served in Krakow and then in Lemberg, already with the rank of lieutenant, where he studied philosophy at the University and received his doctorate in 1843. That year he left the army and worked in the library of the same University. As a political journalist for the local newspaper, Lemberger Zeitung, he wrote articles on the revolutionary events of March 1848 and since the reports were faithful to the monarchy, as he felt himself an Austrian patriot, in October of the same year he received a full-time position. in the Imperial Library of Vienna. Two months later he was hired as an archivist at the Ministry of the Interior, taking charge of the creation of a library destined to gather all the useful documentation for the elaboration of a new Constitution.
Wurzbach had the opportunity to collect bibliographical and biographical documents for the first time, a very laborious task that absorbed a great deal of time but which ended with the production of a colossal and unique work in Austria, the Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich (Biographical Dictionary of the Austrian Empire), between 1856 and 1891, with a total of sixty volumes containing 24,254 biographies of relevant Austrian personalities born between 1550 and 1750 in the Transcarpathian Ukraine. In recognition of his work, the Emperor promoted him to State Councilor and received the Knight's Cross of the Franz Joseph Order. In 1874 he received the Order of the Iron Crown and thus became linked to the Austrian hereditary nobility.