Cornish-born writer, traveller and controversialist James Silk Buckingham (1786 1855) spent much of his early life as a sailor in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and went on to publish accounts of his extensive travels to India, Palestine and Persia. His criticisms of the East India Company and the Bengal government led to his expulsion from India in 1823. In the 1830s he became a Member of Parliament and campaigned for social reforms and for the promotion of the temperance movement. He founded several journals, including the periodical The Athenaeum, covering a wide range of topics from literature to popular science. In this work, first published in 1821, Buckingham describes his journey from Egypt by sea to Syria and then to Palestine. He ascended Mount Tabor and visited the Holy Sepulchre, but considered his experiences in Bashan and Gilead, east of the Jordan, to form the climax of his journey."