Middle East Travel
English edition  
168 pp.
20 b/w illus. 
12X16 cm
ISBN 9789774166983
For sale worldwide


A Beirut Anthology

Travel Writing through the Centuries Edited by T.J. Gorton

Beirut's vibrant cosmopolitan layers and beguiling, insouciant charms captured in the writings of those who graced her shores through the ages

Beirut has seen many armies and empires come and go, but the legacy of this long history is not so much in surviving monuments as in the quintessential Levantine spirit of the people. A commercial hub since the days of the Phoenicians, it was a center of learning under the Romans, its law school pre-eminent in the Empire. Both currents are discernible today, with vibrant Arab, French, and American universities and more publishing houses than the rest of the Arab world coexisting with the most dynamic financial center in the Middle East. Beirut was the point of entry to the Levant for many Europeans and Americans undertaking a Grand Tour or a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and visitors (whether their focus was piously Biblical or more prosaic) recorded their impressions of this effervescent port city where East rubs against West. A Beirut Anthology gathers the choicest of these, from writers as diverse as Alphonse de Lamartine and Mark Twain, providing a surprising and vivid glimpse behind the veil of this elusive and alluring city. About the series: The elegant, pocket-sized volumes in the AUC Press Anthology series feature the writings and observations of travel writers and diarists through the centuries. Vivid and evocative travelers’ accounts of some of the world’s great cities and regions are enhanced by the exquisite vintage design in small hardback format that make the books ideal gift books as well as perfect travel companions. Designed on cream paper stock and beautifully illustrated with line drawings and archival photographs.
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T.J. Gorton has published two books of Arabic poetry in translation and co-edited Lebanon: Through Writers' Eyes. His most recent book is Renaissance Emir: A Druze Warlord at the Court of the Medici, a biography of seventeenth-century Lebanese prince Fakhr al-Din Ma'n.

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“This delightful little book comprises extracts from the writings of travellers who have visited and observed Beirut. Excellent as a travelling companion during a visit to the city—or as light airplane reading—it also shows how perceptions of Beirut have changed over the centuries.”—Arab Banker//endoftext//endoftext"The enjoyment of reading this book is enhanced by its exquisite, rather classical format, befitting its subject matter."—Sally Bland, The Jordan Times

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