|British novelist Amelia B. Edwards' memoir|
(from the digital archives of the
University of Pennsylvania.)
Notes from my comfortable confines: a few of the works I've been looking at in particular, are the travelogue Murray's Handbook for Travelers in Egypt (1860s) and Amelia Edwards' 1000 Miles Up the Nile. Despite its dated attitudes and perspective, the information and detail of the British novelist's voice bring the river alive and with well-intended affection. Earlier this spring, in my class on Biography at the CUNY-Grad Center, I had the good fortune to be assigned, Lytton Strachey's "The End of General Gordon,"which takes place in Upper Egypt in close to the same year. This short work takes a direct hit at late Victorian colonialism in Strachey's signature, darkly humorous style, and reveals the short-sightedness and narcissism that ignites misuse of power. My project is not political in nature, but views offered from this very particular window sadden further what I see happening now.