Deborah Manley (1932–2020)

AUC Press is deeply saddened by the passing of Deborah Manley, author, editor, and co-editor of some 60 books, and one of the co-founders of the Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East (ASTENE). A resident of Oxford, she died on January 24, aged almost 88.

During her active and accomplished career, Manley edited and co-edited multiple fascinating anthologies covering diverse topics ranging from Malta and the Trans-Siberian railway, to Egypt, women travelers, and the Nile. Her abiding interest in travelers in Egypt and the Near East was sparked by a holiday in Egypt with her sister Peta Ree when they were researching material for their joint biography of Henry Salt.

The popular pocket anthologies which Manley edited and published with AUC Press include A Cairo Anthology: Two Hundred Years of Travel Writing (2013), A Nile Anthology: Travel Writing through the Centuries (2015), and Women Travelers on the Nile: An Anthology of Travel Writing through the Centuries (2016). She also edited the longer Women Travelers in Egypt: From the Eighteenth to the Twenty-first Century (2012). Writing recently (November 2019) in The New York Times, author Michelle Green confessed: “I’d been obsessed with Egypt since childhood, but it took a cadre of female adventurers to get me there. Reading Women Travelers on the Nile, a 2016 anthology edited by Deborah Manley, I’d found kindred spirits in the women who chronicled their expeditions to Egypt in the 19th century, and spurred on by them, I’d planned my trip.”

Manley also co-edited several other Egypt anthologies for the Press with Sahar Abdel-Hakim, including Traveling through Egypt: From 450 B.C. to the Twentieth Century (2004), Traveling through Sinai: From the Fourth to the Twenty-first Century (2006), Egypt and the Nile: Through Writers’ Eyes (2008), and Traveling through the Deserts of Egypt: From 450 B.C. to the Twentieth Century (AUC Press, 2009).

A prolific traveler, Manley lived in India, Canada, Austria, and Nigeria before settling down in Oxford. She was a highly dedicated member of ASTENE, which promotes study and travel in Egypt and the Near East through conferences, trips, publications, and exhibitions. In their tribute to her, Manley’s colleagues at ASTENE wrote: “She was an inspiration to many in ASTENE, greatly encouraging to younger members and always generous in sharing her time, knowledge and research. A conference bursary in her name is already in place to commemorate her role in the establishment and ongoing development of ASTENE.”

AUC Press extends its condolences to Deborah Manley’s family at this difficult time.

Reactions on social media about her passing


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