Author Information At the Circulating Library

Author: Eliza Vere Foster

Alternate Name(s): An Old Traveller (pseudonym); The Osmanli Abderahman Effendi (pseudonym)

Biography: Eliza Vere Foster was born in 1802 in Cheltenham. Her early life cannot be traced, but she received a thorough education in classic and modern languages. She married Jonathan Foster (born 1782) of Hilston in Holderness, Yorkshire, as his second wife. The couple had one son who worked in India as a duputy commissoner of customs. During her marriage, she began working as a translator for publisher Bohn—her greatest contribution in this line was her edition of Vasari's Lives of the Most Eminent Painters (5 volumes). In addition, she also published two travel books on Bohemia and Silesia "by an old traveller" and a single novel The Boatman of the Bosphorus (1854) under the name "The Osmanli Abderahman Effendi." These books show her to be rather well-travelled. Her husband died in 1859 in Paris. Thereafter she depended on her literary work and son for support. For several years, she undertook the education of her two grandchildren. Her son died suddenly in 1870 in India, which forced her undertake more literary work. Her economic condition forced Foster to move to northern Italy and to apply successfully several times to the Royal Literary Fund. She was living, though rather infirm, in 1884, but her death cannot be traced.

References: British Census (1851); Gentleman's Magazine (February 1860); RLF (case number 1949)


  1. The Boatman of the Bosphorus: A Tale of Turkey.  3 vol.  London: T. C. Newby, 1854.