- On the Nile in the Golden Age of Travel
A colorfully illustrated celebration of the classic era of cruising on the Nile, new in paperback
Since Antony and Cleopatra honeymooned on the Nile on a gilded barge, visitors to Egypt have taken to the river as the best way to experience the country’s wonders. Early travelers took a dahabiya, an elegant triangular-sailed houseboat, and leisurely meandered from riverside site to site, for three months or more. Then from the late nineteenth century, Thomas Cook of Leicester, England, revolutionized the journey with a fleet of specially built paddle steamers. For the next sixty years these ‘floating palaces,’ with their private cabins, and dining, smoking, and viewing salons, red-uniformed dragoman guides, and organized donkey excursions, carried the aristocratic, moneyed, and adventurous of international society of the time.
Using period photography, and colorful vintage posters and advertising material, this book tells the story of the people, the places, and the boats, from pioneering Nile travelers like Amelia Edwards and Lucie Duff Gordon, through to famed later passengers, such as Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, and, of course, Agatha Christie, whose staging of a death on the Nile only added to the allure.
Andrew Humphreys is the author of National Geographic Traveler Egypt (AUC Press, 2009), Grand Hotels of Egypt in the Golden Age of Travel (AUC Press, 2012), and The American University in Cairo: 100 Years, 100 Stories (AUC Press, 2020). He lives in London.
"A sense of romance positively oozes from every page of this delightful book."—Country Life
"This is a nostalgic look at the beginnings of tourism on one of the world’s most romantic rivers … Meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated with publicity posters, menus, photos and maps, this brilliantly evokes the golden age of steam travel on the Nile."—Good Book Guide
"Profusely illustrated throughout, On the Nile in the Golden Age of Travel is an extraordinary and unique history that will prove to be and enduringly popular and welcome addition to personal reading lists and community library Travel History & Guide collections."—Midwest Book Review
Praise for Grand Hotels Egypt:
"Humphreys has a great talent for taking contemporary writing and using it to portray a coherent and fully visual impression of each town, hotel and its occupants, bringing the life of Westerners in Egypt to life."—Egyptological
"We must thank Andrew Humphreys for providing a real treat for his readers."—ASTENE
"A remarkable and entertaining book."—Cairo 360