A rip-roaring yet intimate biography of the mighty Nile by Robert Twigger, award-winning author of ANGRY WHITE PYJAMAS. 'A tour de force' FINANCIAL TIMES.
So much begins on the banks of the Nile: all religion, all life, all stories, the script we write in, the language we speak, the gods, the legends and the names of stars. This mighty river that flows through a quarter of all Africa has been history's most sustained creator.
In this dazzling, idiosyncratic journey from ancient times to the Arab Spring, award-winning author Robert Twigger weaves a Nile narrative like no other. As he navigates a meandering course through the history of the world's greatest river, he plucks the most intriguing, colourful and dramatic stories - truly a Nile red in tooth and claw.
The result is both an epic journey through the whole sweep of human and pre-human history, and an intimate biography of the curious life of this great river, overflowing with stories of excess, love, passion, splendour and violence.
The longest river in the world, the Nile, is utterly predictable, according to British journalist and novelist Twigger (Dr. Ragab's Universal Language): "For all its floods and famines and small tantrums, this is a river you can rely on." Twigger, in turgid, silty prose reminiscent of the river's flow, winds his way from the Lower Nile to its sources: the White Nile, which rises from a still-undetermined source in Rwanda, and the Blue Nile, which rises near Lake Tana in Ethiopia. Yet, the story of the Nile is the story of its inhabitants, and Twigger offers tales of the men, women, and animals that helped create the legendary character of the Nile. He skims along the river, delivering stories set on its fertile banks: the death of philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria at the hands of Peter the Bigot; Shajarat al-Durr, the first and only Sultana of Egypt; Ibn al-Nafis, the physician who discovered, perhaps in the ebb and flow of the Nile, a model for human circulation 400 years before William Harvey; Napoleon's defeat of the Egyptians at Cairo; Gustave Flaubert's sexual enchantment with Egypt; and the building of the Aswan Dam. Twigger's history intrigues, but like his subject, regularly overflows. Maps & illus.