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Edward William Lane 1801–1876The Life of the Pioneering Egyptologist and Orientalist$
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Jason Thompson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162879

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162879.001.0001

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Description of Egypt

Description of Egypt

(p.251) 14 Description of Egypt
Edward William Lane 1801–1876

Jason Thompson

American University in Cairo Press

Despite sore eyes and generally miserable health, Edward William Lane still wrote the first draft of his book in London during 1829. He stuck to his writing while almost entirely housebound by strict physician's orders. His book's title was Description of Egypt, but exactly when it became so is unclear. The first two manuscript drafts have no title; only the third has one — not the one under which it was eventually published — and it is unlikely to have been his first or final choice. Although the text of the first draft of Description of Egypt, now in the Bodleian Library, is only about one-quarter as long as the third and final draft, a note in it shows how Lane initially envisioned the book's shape. It was to extend to four volumes, with nearly one hundred plates; the chapter about Thebes alone would require at least eighteen illustrations.

Keywords:   Description of Egypt, Edward William Lane, manuscript, Bodleian Library, illustrations, Thebes

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