Gell, William [Sir] (1777-1836; English)
Pompeiana: the topography, edifices, and ornaments of Pompeii, the result of excavations since 1819… (4 vols., London, 1824-32)
Purchased by 1861
State Library of Victoria [S913.377 G28]

The author, an illustrator and archaeologist, spent the earlier part of his career investigating sites in Greece and Asia Minor. From 1817 he was occupied largely with his studies of Pompeii. Gell accompanied Princess (later Queen) Caroline to Italy in 1814, and was a friend of both Scott and Byron. From 1820, he lived mostly in Rome; he died and is buried in Naples.

Volume I contains 88 monochrome plates, engraved by Henry Moses and others after Gell’s own drawings.

More recently, the SLV also acquired a copy of Gell’s early Topography of Troy (1804), an account of what Gell believed to be the site of the Homeric city, illustrated with hand-coloured prints after his own sketches made on a visit to the Troad region of Turkey in 1801. The area he documented was a little to the south of Hisarlik, the site later excavated by Schliemann and now accepted as the original location of Troy.

[photo: Title page (engraved by Henry Moses after Gell)]


MPL 1861, p.168 (cf. MPL 1857, III.ii [1858], p.22: as 2 vols., 1832)

See SLV catalogue (noting 88 plates of engravings, contained in vol.1). The SLV also holds a French ed. of 1827, based on the first publication of 1819 (date of acquisition unknown)

For Gell, and Troy, see the detailed discussions in and (both with further references; accessed 14 Dec.2020). For Gell, see also AKL 51 (2006), p.204, noting his Pompeii book as significant 

For the SLV copy of Gell’s 1804 book on Troy, acquired in 1993, see SLV RARESEF 913.921 G28T