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Eothen, or, Traces Of Travel Brought Home From The East
by Alexander William Kinglake
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The camel kneels to receive her load, and for a while she will allow the packing to go on with silent resignation; but when she begins to suspect that her master is putting more than a just burden upon her poor hump, she turns round her supple neck, and looks sadly upon the increasing load, and then gently remonstrates against the wrong with the sigh of a patient wife. -from "Chapter XVII: The Desert" It's a century and a half old, and yet it is as strikingly modern as any literary memoir published today. A solitary Western traveler in the Middle East in 1834, this is an extraordinary work of travel writing that is more about the author's internal journey than it is about monuments and museums, one that replicates the personal experience of travel and how it changes who we are. Kinglake's intimate, conversational style and his sense of humor and irony lend Eothen-the title means "from the early dawn" or "from the East"-an air that still feels as fresh and original in the 21st century as it must have when it was first published in 1844. British writer and historian ALEXANDER WILLIAM KINGLAKE (1809-1891) was educated at Eton
I went on and came near to those waters of death. They stretched deeply into the southern desert, and before me, and all around, as far away as the eye could follow, blank hills piled high over hills, pale, yellow, and naked, walled up in her tomb for ever the dead and damned Gomorrah. There was no fly that hummed in the forbidden air, but instead a deep stillness; no grass grew from the earth, no weed peered through the void sand; but in mockery of all life there were trees borne down by Jordan in some ancient flood, and these, grotesquely planted upon the forlorn shore, spread out their grim skeleton arms, all scorched and charred to blackness by the heats of the long silent years.
About the Author
British writer and historian ALEXANDER WILLIAM KINGLAKE (1809-1891) was educated at Eton.
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