Description of Egypt

Notes and Views in Egypt and Nubia

Edward William Lane
Edited and with an introduction Jason Thompson

The launching of this hitherto unpublished book by the great nineteenth-century British traveler Edward William Lane (1801–76), a name known to almo

English edition
1 October 2000
786 pp.
158 b/w illus.
15X23cm
ISBN 9789774245251
For sale worldwide

$39.50

The launching of this hitherto unpublished book by the great nineteenth-century British traveler Edward William Lane (1801–76), a name known to almost everyone in all the many fields of Middle East studies, is a major publishing event. Lane was the author of a number of highly influential works: An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (1836), his translation of The Thousand and One Nights (1839–41), Selections from the Kur-an (1843), and the Arabic–English Lexicon (1863–93). Yet one of his greatest works was never published: after years of labor and despite an enthusiastic reception by the publishing firm of John Murray in 1831, publication of his first book, Description of Egypt, was delayed and eventually dropped, mainly for financial reasons. The manuscript was sold to the British Library by Lane’s widow in 1891, and has only now been salvaged for publication by Dr. Jason Thompson, nearly 170 years after its completion. This enormously important book, which takes the form of a journey through Egypt from north to south, with descriptions of all the ancient monuments and contemporary life that Lane explored along the way, will be of immense interest to both ancient and modern historians of Egypt, and will become an essential companion to his Manners and Customs.

Edward William Lane

Jason Thompson is an associate professor of history at the American University in Cairo. The author of the definitive biography of the Egyptologist Sir Gardner Wilkinson, he has written numerous articles about Edward William Lane and other aspects of the British encounter with Egypt. Presently he is preparing a biography of Lane.

Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson is the editor of Edward William Lane’s Description of Egypt (AUC Press, 2000) and An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (AUC Press, 2003), and the author of Sir Gardiner Wilkinson and His Circle and A History of Egypt: From Earliest Times to the Present (AUC Press, 2008).
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