Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: From Cairo to Baghdad : British Travel Writing on Arabia, 1882-2003
Author: Canton, James
ISNI:       0000 0000 5577 1233
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2008
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
From Cairo to Baghdad explores British travel writing on Arabia, from 1882 when Britain occupied Egypt until the invasion of Iraq by British troops in 2003. The work is a gentle untying of the entanglement of travel writing on Arabia and British imperial history, for the two are intricately linked. As British imperial activity flourished in Arabia from the First World War to the 1930s, so too British travel writing thrived. Britain's departure, commencing in the 1950s, saw a distinct decline in the production of travel texts, and the gradual evolution of the post-imperial travelogue. Eight chapters provide a rich map of British' travel writing across Arabia from 1882 to 2003. Chapter 1 explores religious-based travel texts, including works by Marmaduke Pickthall, Charles Doughty, Arthur Wavell and Eldon Rutter. Chapter 2 details Bertram Thomas and Harry St John Philby's competition to cross the Empty Quarter. Wilfred Thesiger's Arabian Sands (1959) is seen as expressing a form of . imperial nostalgia. Chapter 3 examines imperial wars, viewing T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926) alongside Keith Douglas's Alamein to Zem Zem (1946) and ending with an observation of the Suez War (1956). Chapter 4 studies the modernising of twentieth-century Arabia: trains, cars, airplanes, oil and petrodollars. In Chapter 5, Gertrude Bell is discussed alongside an impressive array of women travellers including Margaret Fountaine, Rosita Forbes and Freya Stark. Chapter 6 compares British travellers' depictions of Baghdad and the marshes of southern Iraq, while Chapter 7 examines explorations in southern Arabia which ventured beyond Aden, highlighting the travels of Theodore and Mabel Bent, Walter Harris and Wyman Bury. The concluding Chapter 8 uses interviews conducted with William Dalrymple, Colin Thubron, Jonathan Raban and Tim Mackintosh-Smith to investigate the evolution of the post-imperial travel text in the light of the Saidian paradigm.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Not available Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available