The writings of Carla Serena (Antwerp 1824 – Greece 1884) offer a fascinating ground for sources investigation, in that they display a complex interplay between classical quotations, previous travellers’ works and personal memoirs. As a Belgian born woman based in London with Italian passport who travelled alone in the Ottoman Empire (1874-75), in the Russian Empire (1875-78, 1879-80, 1881) and in the Persian Empire (1879), Carla provides an interesting range of orientalist insights, varied according to the audience she addresses and to the place she describes. The paper aims at spotting differences and similarities in the set of sources quoted by Carla Serena. Morover, it also answers the question how the literary creation of an oriental Russian Caucasus in Carla Serena’s works is ultimately inspired by her personal experience rather than by classical sources, which are introduced just as rhetoric and evocative means.
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