The story of a great Alexandrian school This book is at once the history of a remarkable and fascinating phenomenon—a British-style public school rooted in Egyptian soil boasting such alumni as King Hussein of Jordan, Omar Sharif, and Edward Said—and a reflection of the spirit of Alexandria during the first half of the twentieth century. Its publication in October 2002 is timed to coincide with the school’s centenary.
Victoria College, Alexandria, founded in October 1902, was named after the British queen Victoria, who had died the year before. It was the brainchild of a group of British businessmen who formed the nucleus of Alexandria’s small British community. Deliberately fashioned as an independent, secular school, open to anyone who could afford its fees, it attracted the children both of the elite—royalty, diplomats, magnates, politicians, landowners—and of very ordinary people. Its pupils came not only from all over Egypt, but from the entire Middle East and beyond.
This immensely readable history is, in the first place, a book about and for the Old Victorians. In a series of colorful sketches, backed by plentiful quotation from documents in the school archives, a series of engaging and distinguished characters come to life, not least Victoria’s first two headmasters, C.R. Lias and his successor R.W.G. Reed—the two men whose enlightened vision and skillful leadership made the school what it was.
Yet at the same time, this is a book whose appeal extends far beyond its immediate subject matter. In the process of putting together the story of a school, the authors have uncovered a wealth of material that will interest Middle East and postcolonial scholars as well as educationists, social historians, and students of human nature.
Sahar Hamouda is an associate professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Alexandria.
Colin Clement is a writer and translator who lives in Alexandria.
People who bought this also bought
ISBN 9789774160097 HardboundGardens of Sand
ISBN 9789774164316 HardboundFrom Cairo to Baghdad
ISBN 9789774164750 HardboundGrand Hotels of Egypt
ISBN 9789774164965 HardboundThe Red Sea from Byzantium to the Caliphate
ISBN 9789774165443 HardboundDividing the Nile
ISBN 9789774166389 HardboundMargo Veillon: Nubia
ISBN 9789774248795 PaperbackMuhammad Ali Pasha and His Sabil
ISBN 9789774248313 PaperbackPhotographing Egypt
ISBN 9789774248917 PaperbackLandlocked Islands
ISBN 9789774245411 PaperbackThe River Nile in the Age of the British
ISBN 9789774160462 PaperbackGrand Hotels of Egypt
ISBN 9789774167195 Paperback