From religion, to language, to the stories rooted in our faith and history books, the Nile River has proven to be a constant fixture in mankind's tales. In this dazzling, idiosyncratic journey from ancient times to the Arab Spring, Red Nile navigates a meandering course through the history of the world's greatest river, exploring this unique breeding ground for creativity, power clashes, and constant change.
Seasoned historical writer Robert Twigger connects the comprehensive history of the Nile with his personal experience of living in Egypt while researching the Nile's historical origins. Twigger covers the entirety of the river, charting the length of the Nile from its disputed origins through Africa on a whirlwind tour of the rulers, explorers, conquerors, generals, and novelists who painted the Nile "red." Both comprehensive and intimate, this narrative guides readers through history by way of the mighty river known across the world.
The result of this meticulously researched book is an all-inclusive history of this epic river and the incredible connections throughout history. The stories of excess, love, passion, splendor, and violence are what make the Nile so engaging, even after centuries of change.
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.