A first edition of Baedeker’s guide to Paris can be just as effective as a Flaubert novel in re-creating that long-vanished, premodern city. Tourism in the nineteenth century had not yet become the culture-distorting enterprise it is today; apart from a few well-travelled routes between the centres of culture, each trip abroad required extensive preparation and an iron constitution. Today we think of Edward Lear as a writer of nonsense verse, but in his day he was also considered an “artist of great promise,” a celebrated English landscape painter who lived in Rome for more than a decade. Edward Lear in Albania, edited by Bejtullah Destani and Robert Elsie (I.B. Tauris), is Lear’s account of his travels through the Balkans beginning in 1848, the first stage of what was to be a fifteen-month exploration of the countries around the Mediterranean prior to his return home. In the introduction to the book, Lear offers this advice to any who might be considering a similar undertaking: “Previous to starting, a certain supply of cooking utensils, tin plates, knives and forks, a basin &c., must absolutely be purchased, the stronger and plainer the better; for you go into lands where pots and pans are unknown, and all culinary processes are to be performed in strange localities, innocent of artificial means.” In addition, “a good supply of capotes and plaids should not be neglected; two or three books; some rice, curry-powder, and cayenne; [and] a world of drawing materials if you be a hard sketcher.” Lear began his trip during an outbreak of cholera—which explains his insistence on “some quinine made into pills (rather leave all behind than this).” Poor Edward, to have missed out on all our modern travel conveniences: the fuel surcharge and the one-suitcase luggage allowance, the compact hair dryer and the GPS.