A Thousand Miles Up the Nile
As enthralling as any work of fiction, A Thousand Miles up the Nile is the quintessential Victorian travel book.
In 1873, Amelia B. Edwards, a Victorian gentlewoman, spent the winter visiting the then largely unspoiled splendors of ancient Egypt. An accurate and sympathetic observer, she brings nineteenth-century Egypt to life.…
Why read it?
2 authors picked A Thousand Miles Up the Nile as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
Marking a turning point in women’s travel writing and scholarly publications, British artist, writer, and Egyptologist, Amelia Edwards, brought unparalleled expertise and knowledge of Egyptian antiquities to her narrative, in the process helping to found the modern study of Egyptology. Written by a gifted writer and accomplished novelist, her book follows her trip up the Nile River to investigate some of the world’s most important ancient archeological sites and is beautifully illustrated with her own watercolors as well as witty, insightful stories of everyday life in nineteenth-century Egypt.
I read this book just before I visited Egypt for the first time. I found Amelia’s description of travelling up the Nile during the winter of 1873/4 fascinating. In a few ways, Egypt has changed little since. There are still donkeys pulling heavy carts through the streets of Cairo, though now they are passed by speeding traffic. Small villages of flat-roofed houses still punctuate the banks of the Nile, but now many of those houses sprout satellite dishes like metal mushrooms.
Amelia vividly describes ancient sites, some of which are now badly damaged or destroyed, and is a keen observer…
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