Every Traveller Needs a Compass: Travel and Collecting in Egypt and the Near East

Oxbow Books

Neil Cooke (Editor); Vanessa Daubney (Editor)
Published by Oxbow Books, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2015
A varied and charming collection of 17 papers that bring something new about the people from many countries and backgrounds who travelled to, from and within Egypt and the Near East, either singly or as a group, and explored, observed and recorded, or stayed for a short period of time to improve their health or simply to enjoy the experience.
While some travellers kept a diary or journal that has survived until today, others did not. Their travels have to be extracted from the wide range of manuscript sources that are thankfully retained in libraries and archives, or which still remain with their descendants. Sometimes, the name of a traveller is only contained in a few words within a single piece of correspondence or journal entry, yet from such small beginnings and through detective work to link the chance meetings between travellers with a location, or news of a shared event, it is often possible to chart part of a traveller’s journey and bring to life a person who has long been forgotten. These minor characters and their travails often bring a new perspective to well-known places and events.

Women Travellers in the Near East

Published by Oxbow Books, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2005
ISBN 10: 1842171615 / ISBN 13: 9781842171615
Contents: Introduction ( Sarah Searight ); Travelling to post: Lady Liston, an ambassadress in Constantinople ( Deborah Manley ); Two feisty ladies in the Levant: Princess Caroline and Lady Craven ( Charles Plouviez ); Travels in the Slavonic provinces of Turkey-in-Europe: Miss Muir Mackenzie and Miss Irby ( Dorothy Anderson ); Three travellers in nineteenth-century Egypt: Sarah Belzoni, Amelia Edwards and Margaret Benson ( Megan Price ); Lucie Duff Gordon: a woman’s perception of Egypt ( Sarah Searight ); Governess to the Grand Pasha of Egypt: Emmeline Lott ( Alix Wilkinson ); The unknown pilgrimage to Sinai ( Deborah Manley ); Archaeologists’ wives as travel writers ( Elizabeth French ); Women’s perceptions of, and perceptions of women in, Egypt’s Eastern desert ( Janet Starkey )

Souvenirs and New Ideas edited by Diane Fortenberry
Souvenirs and New Ideas

Edited by Diane Fortenberry
During the 18th and 19th centuries, many travellers aimed to record their travels through Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Levant and Turkey by collecting souvenirs and mementos of places they had visited. This natural inclination took many different guises: from innocent activities such as making diaries and sketches, gathering academic knowledge or taking photographs, to acquiring souvenirs, very often antiquities. Other, more unscrupulous, travellers undertook journeys specifically to ‘collect’ antiquities to form the basis of museum collections or to profit by re-selling them. Souvenirs and New Ideas explores the human desire to retain the memory of a journey by ‘collecting objects’ with a series of essays examining the motivation of a variety of different travellers ranging from intrepid female solo travellers to European royalty. The acquisitions of these individuals ranged from tales of folklore and academic knowledge to the wholesale looting of Egyptian antiquities. Although the habit of ‘collecting antiquities’ is deplored and condemned today, this volume sheds light on the attitudes behind the practice and seeks to strengthen our current beliefs about the value of cultural patrimony.

Oxbow Books in association with ASTENE, 2013, 200 pp.

Publication - Knowledge is Light by Katherine SalahiKnowledge is Light: Travellers in the Near East

Edited by Katherine Salahi
For thousands of years travellers wandered to, and spread out through, Egypt and the Near East, seeking trade, adventure and knowledge. For centuries travellers to – and from – the Near East carried knowledge with them and then carried home the new knowledge acquired in the region. And knowledge, as the Arabic proverb states, is light. The travels which are the subjects of these nine papers continue to represent the work of The Association for the Study of Travel in the Near East, which was set up to follow, study and record the experience of travel and travellers in the Near East.

The book features travellers of great character. John Covel was in Constantinople in the 1670s where he became Chaplain and took away in his little-known diaries an extraordinary account of what it was like to be an Englishman in late 17th-century Greece and Asia Minor. James Rennell came to be considered as “one of the first geographers of this or any other age”. He spent thirty years researching classical and modern sources on the geography of the Near East, including his splendidly intriguing study of the rate of travel by camels to establish distances.

For full details and to order this publication, please visit the Oxbow Books website.


Saddling the Dogs: Journeys Through Egypt and the Near EastSaddling the Dogs: Journeys through Egypt and the Near East

Edited by Diane Fortenberry and Deborah Manley

(Oxbow Books in association with ASTENE, 2009, 170 pp)

In the absence of horses, saddle the dogs.
This Arab proverb, suggesting the uncompromising determination of nomads to keep moving, whatever the obstacles, epitomizes also the travelling ethos of many early visitors to the ‘exotic East’. The journeys examined here are linked by the light they shed on the experience of travel in Egypt, Greece and the Ottoman Balkans, and the Near East from the 17th to the early-20th century, not so much what was seen as how one got there and how one got around once arrived; the vicissitudes and travails, both expected and strange that characterised the passage. The purpose of the trips examined range from religious pilgrimages to diplomatic, commercial and military journeys, and to middle-class package tours. Each of them is of interest for what it reveals about the realities of travel in Egypt, the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East at different times: the means by which travel was carried out, the dangers and discomforts encountered, and the preparations made.

Special ASTENE member price for Saddling the Dogs is £14.95 (full price £20) plus P & P.

Who Travels Sees More: Artists, Architects and Archaeologists Discover Egypt and the Near EastWho Travels Sees More: Artists, Architects, and Archaeologists Discover Egypt and the Near East

Edited by Dr Diane Fortenberry

Who Travels Sees More is an Arab proverb appropriate for this book – and for ASTENE in general. This impressive book is a collection of essays based on papers given at our biennial and overseas conferences and study days.
The travellers included had backgrounds as artists and architects of one sort or another – and so responded to what they saw in visual ways – in many cases taking the revelations of their travels home with them to inspire their own work.
The book is illustrated with 75 black and white pictures and 16 pages of colour plates.

Published in association with Oxbow Books, members can purchase it at a special price of £9.95 (plus postage and packing).* See above for Special Offer. (The usual retail price is £45.)

Order from Oxbow Books, 10 Hythe Bridge Street, Oxford OX1 2EW, UK
Telephone: 01865 241249

 Travellers in the Near EastTravellers in the Near East

Edited by Charles Foster

120 pages, soft bound, 156 x 234 mm portrait

ISBN: 1900988 712

Price: £18.50

Publication Date: Autumn 2003

The Orientalists were a breed apart. Amateur enthusiasts with a thirst for adventure, entrepreneurs hunting for eastern treasures,scientists and early anthropologists and individuals desperate to escape the confines of Europe, these men and women were pioneer tourists in unknown lands. They have left us a legacy of fascinating romantic and enlightening insight into the Near East from a European perspective, and Charles Foster brings together a collection of studies of some of the most vivid and memorable of them in this book, which is published in conjunction with the Association for Study of Travellers in Egypt and the Near East.

This is a publication generated from papers given in Edinburgh at the 4th ASTENE biennial conference in 2001.

Egypt Through the Eyes of TravellersEgypt Through the Eyes of Travellers

Edited by Nadia El Kholy and Paul Starkey

Illustrated. ISBN 0-9539700-2-7. Published 2002.

This volume presents a further fascinating array of images of Egypt, as seen through the eyes of Western travellers, from the Enlightenment onwards. Missionaries, Egyptologists, novelists and painters all offer their own perspectives. £19.95 (£14.95 for ASTENE members).

Travellers in the Levant: Voyagers and VisionariesTravellers in the Levant: Voyagers and Visionaries

Edited by Sarah Searight and Malcolm Wagstaff.

Illustrated, ISBN 0-9539700-1-9 Published April 2001.

Orientalists came to the Middle East with their own ideas and agendas. As we try to disentangle fact from fiction, the Middle East is explored from many perspectives, among them those of artists, novelists, archaeologists, tourists – and spies. Illustrated. £19.95 (£14.95 for ASTENE Members).


Desert Travellers: from Herodotus to T.E. Lawrence

Edited by Janet Starkey and Okasha El Daly.

Illustrated, ISBN 0-9539700-0-0. Published December 2000.

Travellers in the deserts of the Middle East left a wealth of information on everything that caught their eye. From Herodotus, through medieval Arabic and European sources, to those of dare-devil travellers of the last 150 years, including James Bruce, William Eaton, Ameen Rihani and T.E. Lawrence, this book shows that close encounters in deserts can produce vivid images of an Oriental environment. Yet some travellers perhaps reveal more about themselves, through their experiences, than about the surrounding environment.

Illustrated. £19.95 (£14.95 for ASTENE members).


Travellers in Egypt

Edited by Paul and Janet Starkey (London: I.B. Tauris, 1998).

Based on papers from the 1995 Durham conference.

ISBN 1 86064 674 3. £14.95 (pb) March 2001.






 In the Wake of the DhowIn the Wake of the Dhow: The Arabian Gulf and Oman

Dionisius A. Agius
Ithaca, September 2002, 276pp, 235 x 155 mm, Cased £35.00, ISBN 0 86372 259 8, Illustrated

The Arabian dhow, with its characteristic features, is one of the most evocative images of the Gulf, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Documenting the dhow as an important element in the prosperity of the area before the discovery of oil, we find in this book the geographical conditions and the historical-linguistical background of each dhow-type, the life-pattern in its role as cargo, pearl-diving, pirate and slaving vessel and also how the seafaring communities interacted with the dhow world.

Ithaca press:


How Many Miles to Babylon?How Many Miles to Babylon?

Travels and Adventures to Egypt and Beyond, from 1300 to 1620

Anne Wolff
Liverpool University Press, HB 0-85323-658-5 £37.99, PB 0-85323-668-2 £11.50

Order from Marston Book Services, PO Box 269, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4YN (Tel: 01235 465500; Fax 01235 465555; email: P&P UK £3.50, Europe £3 surface/£4 air, Rest of World £8. Quote code 200303


Traveling through SinaiTraveling through Sinai, from the Fourth to the Twenty-first Century

Edited by Deborah Manley, and Sahar Abdel-Hakim, Cairo. AUC Press, 2006





Traveling through EgyptTraveling through Egypt. From 450 B.C. to the Twentieth Century

Edited by Deborah Manley and Sahar Abdel-Hakim, Cairo, AUC Press, 2008





Egypt and the NileEgypt and the Nile. Through Writers’ Eyes

Edited by Deborah Manley and Sahar Abdel-Hakim, Cairo, AUC Press, 2008