English edition  
424 pp.
34 color illus. 
15X23 cm
ISBN 9789774166679
For sale worldwide


American Travelers on the Nile

Early U.S. Visitors to Egypt, 1774–1839 Andrew Oliver

A fascinating study of the early American experience in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean

The Treaty of Ghent signed in 1814, ending the War of 1812, allowed Americans once again to travel abroad. Medical students went to Paris, artists to Rome, academics to Göttingen, and tourists to all European capitals. More intrepid Americans ventured to Athens, to Constantinople, and even to Egypt. Beginning with two eighteenth-century travelers, this book then turns to the 25-year period after 1815 that saw young men from East Coast cities, among them graduates of Harvard, Yale, and Columbia, traveling to the lands of the Bible and of the Greek and Latin authors they had first known as teenagers. Naval officers off ships of the Mediterranean squadron visited Cairo to see the pyramids. Two groups went on business, one importing steam-powered rice and cotton mills from New York, the other exporting giraffes from the Kalahari Desert for wild animal shows in New York. Drawing on unpublished letters and diaries together with previously neglected newspaper accounts, as well as a handful of published accounts, this book offers a new look at the early American experience in Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean world. More than thirty illustrations complement the stories told by the travelers themselves.
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Andrew Oliver is a retired art historian and museum administrator living in Washington, DC. With degrees from Harvard College and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, he was director of the Museum Program at the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency in Washington, from 1982 to 1994. Earlier in his career, from 1960 to 1970, he was a curator in the Greek and Roman Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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"This highly readable book is a major contribution to the history of Egypology and to the study of the East-West encounter." —Jason Thompson, author of A History of Egypt from Earliest Times to the Present//endoftext//endoftext"Andrew Oliver has rescued an earlier, happier American encounter with the Middle East–when Americans came to admire, to explore, and to record. . . . Indispensable for anyone interested in the history of travel and of the Middle East in the age of Mohammed Ali Pasha."—Philip Mansel, author of Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean//endoftext//endoftext"This book on the little-known history of the American presence in Egypt, which was to have a continuing influence on American art and taste, fills a much-needed gap in the modern history of both Egypt and America."—Morris Bierbrier, Department of Egyptian Antiquities, British Museum//endoftext//endoftext"For those interested in the study of travelers and travel in Egypt, this book is a welcome new source of information about many forgotten journeys and will be valuable for descriptions of Egypt and its monuments."—Neil Cooke, Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East//endoftext//endoftext"A seminal work of outstanding and meticulous scholarship, "American Travelers on the Nile: Early US Visitors to Egypt, 1774-1839" is an impressively detailed history that is enhanced with the inclusion of a map of Egypt, an informative Introduction, sixty-six pages of Endnotes; and a thirty-nine page Index. "American Travelers on the Nile" is a critically important and highly recommended addition to academic library Egyptian and American History collections and supplemental studies reading lists."--Midwest Book Review//endoftext//endoftext"American Travelers on the Nile presents a lively collection of relationships between cultures and documents the early American experience in the Middle Eastern world and its effects on both sides of the ocean."—Midwest Book Review//endoftext//endoftext"A thorough compendium of travellers’ tales, accompanied by appropriate and meticulously researched illustrations... this book is a significant contribution to the history of travellers from the United States to the lands of the Ottoman Empire ... The book could almost be a work of reference it is so packed with encyclopaedic detail ... a fascinating picture of two nations first emerging onto the world stage from the shadow of two great empires."—Sheila McGuirk, ASTENE Bulletin

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