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Frederic George Stephens 'Gibraltar and its Sieges, with a Description of its Natural Features'

Frederic George Stephens (10th October 1827 – 9th March 1907) was a British art critic, and one of the two 'non-artistic' members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Stephens was a prolific writer who became the regular art critic for the Athenaeum in 1861, Stephens also contributed to The Germ, the Critic, the London Review, Dublin University Review, Macmillan's Magazine, Weldon’s Register, the Portfolio, and various American and French periodicals.

Stephens wrote the first edition of the book A History of Gibraltar and its Sieges in 1870, with a fourth and last edition published in 1900. However, there is no evidence to suggest that Stephens visited the Rock in order to compile his history, which appears to have been itself compiled from other sources.

The 1870 and 1873 editions included a map of Gibraltar as well as photographs by James Hollingworth Mann. The book was a rather straightforward history of Gibraltar beginning with the days of the Phoenicians and ending with an account of the Great Siege. The final chapter details the events of the Battle of Trafalgar

However, the 1879 and the 1900 editions were completely rewritten and now consisted of two main sections. The first section started with the British capture of Gibraltar in 1704 and ended with the Battle of Trafalgar. The second section consisted of a general description of the Rock and a short chapter on its early history. In these two editions, Hollingworth Mann's photographs were replaced by unattributed engravings that are now included here. The James Hollingworth Mann’s photograph collection and other engravings can be accessed from Neville Chipulina's own site 1870 - Frederick george Stephens -A history.

A digital version of the book can be accessed here: Gibraltar & its Sieges (1878 edition) PDF.


Gibraltar from the North-West.

Rock of Gibraltar from the Neutral Ground.

 Spanish battering-ships (from an old engraving).

A motley group in the Main Street.

Map of Gibraltar at the time of the Great Siege.

Europa Point.

The Grand Attack upon Gibraltar, September 13, 1782.

The King's Bastion, and old Moorish Castle.

The landing place, and remains of Moorish Castle.

Catalan Bay from the Mediterranean Battery.

The Market-place.

The Alameda.

The Signal-station.

O'Hara's Tower on the Sugar Loaf.

View from the Signal Station.

Martin's Cave.

St. George's Hall.