Lifting the Veil: Two Centuries of Travellers, Traders and Tourists in Egypt (BOK)
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The Scottish traveller James Bruce, who reached Cairo in 1768, explained that he was on his way up the Nile merely to see what was there. In his footsteps there followed a multi-national crowd of traders and tourists, soldiers and fortune-seekers, scholars and empire-builders, lured by Egypt's rich and ancient history, her compelling landscapes, the elusive ruins of once-magnificent civilisations or her increasingly strategic importance in world politics. Spanning two centuries of Western fascination - from Bruce's intrepid journey up the Nile to the departure of the last British troops from Suez - "Lifting the Veil" portrays the shifting interests, dreams and failures, passions and intrigues of an extraordinary cast of characters. From Napoleon Bonaparte with his schemes to control the overland route to India, to tomb-raiders such as Giovanni Belzoni; from scholars like hieroglyph-decoder Champollion to Thomas Cook and his wide-eyed tourists and Cromer and his bureaucrats, this fast-paced and richly-described narrative illuminates a bygone world and charts the end of imperialism and the advent of Egyptian Independence.