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A Thousand Miles up the Nile - A woman's journey among the treasures of Ancient Egypt PART I Paperback – January 20, 2008
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Amelia Edwards (1831-1892) was an English novelist, journalist and travel writer who, after visiting Egypt in 1873-1874, devoted her life to Egyptology and the protection of Egypt's ancient monuments. This volume, first published in 1876, contains Edwards' fascinating description of her life-changing visit to Egypt. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards (7 June 1831 – 15 April 1892), also known as Amelia B. Edwards, was an English novelist, journalist, traveller and Egyptologist. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Be careful to get a complete edition! The easiest way is to check the page count.
For example, the Norton Creek Press edition of A Thousand Miles up the Nile is a complete reprint of the lavishly illustrated 1890 Routledge & Sons Second Edition. It weighs in as follows:
499 numbered pages (plus 33 pages of front matter),
22 chapters and 5 appendixes.
By contrast, one paperback edition has been slashed by two-thirds, having only 172 pages! If you use the numbers above as a guide, (or just buy the Norton Creek Press edition of A Thousand Miles up the Nile), you won't go far wrong.
The narrative ends abruptly at the end of Chapter XIII, titled "Philae to Korosko". It's obvious that this isn't the end of the book. Very disappointing to come so far and suddenly find one's self teetering on the brink of a literary precipice with nothing ahead! Miss Edwards makes it clear throughout her narrative that her journey goes as far as Aboo-Simbel, but this reprint doesn't go there.
In the preface she writes "It will be seen by those who do not weary of my companionship before reaching the eighteenth Chapter, that I had the great good fortune to be one of a party, which, in the month of February 1874, discovered and excavated an extremely interesting group of ruins at Aboo-Simbel in Nubia. If an apology were needed for the writing of another book about the Nile, this circumstance would alone furnish sufficient reason for the production of the present volumes."
This leads me to believe that several chapters, at least Chapters 14 thru 18, are missing from this reprint. I can find no mention of a second volume or any explanation for the omission of the material referenced in the preface.
Leaving that criticism aside, A Thousand Miles Up the Nile is a delight to read. Amelia Edwards is an engaging travel guide who provides a vivid picture of life in 19th-century Egypt and many colorful descriptions of the personalities she encounters. She also proves to be an excellent historian as she describes the ancient ruins she and her travel party encounter as they sail up the Nile on their dahabeeyah the "Philae". I thoroughly enjoyed every word of the text; however, as I read I continually lamented that there are no illustrations. A glossary and pronunciation guide would also have been helpful. This gem of a travel classic cries out to be updated in a new, annotated and illustrated edition!
Recommended to anyone who enjoys 19th-century travel literature, Egyptian antiquities, or Elizabeth Peters' superlative mystery series featuring the redoubtable Victorian Egyptology sleuth Amelia Peabody Emerson.