Heart Beguiling Araby
The English Romance with Arabia
For certain Englishmen, the Arabian desert and its inhabitants exerted a powerful fascination. This book examines the lives of four Victorian Arabists – Richard Burton, Gifford Palgrave, Wilfrid Blunt and Charles Doughty – and explores the legend of TE Lawrence, who followed in their footsteps.
The American novelist Henry James settled in England in 1876, and towards the end of his life collected the travel pieces he had written about his adopted country in this book. They range from his first impressions of the ‘dreadful, delightful city’ of London, to the sleepy Sussex town of Rye, where he spent his final years. With an introduction by Colm Tóibín.
Rome on the Euphrates
The Story of a Frontier
The Euphrates, a vital ancient trade route, formed the eastern limit of the Roman Empire. The river is the focus of this detailed historical account by the doyenne of Middle East travel writers, which covers eight centuries of Rome’s involvement in the region. Writing during the Cold War, Stark emphasizes the futility of such arbitrary boundaries and shows how trading communities gain mutually from traffic and lose through war.
Lifting the Veil
Two Centuries of Travellers, Traders and Tourists in Egypt
The first European explorers of the Nile were followed by an eclectic crowd of tourists, soldiers, archaeologists and fortune-seekers. This account tells their stories in the context of the political history of the country, following visitors including Nelson, Florence Nightingale, Flaubert, EM Forster and Noël Coward as they scramble up pyramids or party at Shepheard’s Hotel in the years between 1768 and 1956, when the last British soldier left Egypt.
Emerson was an unknown schoolteacher of 30 when he first visited England in 1833, but managed to secure introductions to Wordsworth, Coleridge and Carlyle, who became a lifelong friend. When he returned in 1847, he was a celebrated writer. These two visits form the basis of English Traits, a witty, affectionate portrait of a culture he admired profoundly but from which, as an American, he knew he must break free.
Across the Hellespont
A Literary Guide to Turkey
Turkey lies at the crossroads of history, and successive waves of conquerors – Hittites, Persians, Romans and Ottomans – have created a culture as rich and varied as any in the world. This collection of prose and verse ranges from the architectural glories of Istanbul to the mountains of Armenia, and includes writing by Homer, Herodotus, Goethe, Tennyson, Rose Macaulay and many others. Stoneman demonstrates that, while political circumstances may change, the lure of Turkey remains eternal.