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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.
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About the Author

Andrew Humphreys is the author of National Geographic Traveler Egypt ( AUC Press, 2009) and Grand Hotels of Egypt in the Golden Age of Travel (AUC Press, 2012).

Reviews

'beautiful images' - Lizzie Porter, Telegraph; 'A sense of romance positively oozes from every page of this delightful book.' - Robin Hanbury-Tenison, Country Life; 'beautifully produced account' - Mick Herron, Geographical; 'This is a nostalgic look at the beginnings of tourism on one of the world's most romantic rivers...It makes for fascinating reading... Meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated with publicity posters, menus, photos and maps, this brilliantly evokes the golden age of steam travel on the Nile.' - Editor's Choice, Good Book Guide; 'A fascinating new book is delving into the history of classic British travel agents Thomas Cook.' - Katie Amey, Daily Mail; 'Humphrey's beautifully produced account of tourism's golden age is largely of what became of Cook & Son, from its internal politics to its ties to government and the British Army.' - Mick Herron, Geographical Magazine; 'The aesthetic nature of On the Nile is hard to ignore. The book is beautifully illustrated, so richly in fact, that one is drawn to perusing the images at length before delving into the text itself... However, a book's success is not dependent on its illustrations alone and the text in this book, as with Humphreys's first book, is effortlessly readable and as a result a page turner...Humphreys has produced another gem of a book and in doing so whets the reader's appetite for more' - ASTENE Bulletin 65

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