Alexandria: A History and Guide

Overview

"Alexandria is still alive and alters even when one tries to sum her up... Only the climate, only the north wind and the sea remain as pure as when Menelaus, the first visitor, landed three thousand years ago..." - E.M. Forster

In the autumn of 1915, in a slightly heroic mood, E.M. Forster arrived in Alexandria, full of lofty ideals as a volunteer for the Red Cross. Yet most of his time was spent exploring the magic, antiquity and complexity of the place in order to cope with living in what he saw as a ...

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Overview

"Alexandria is still alive and alters even when one tries to sum her up... Only the climate, only the north wind and the sea remain as pure as when Menelaus, the first visitor, landed three thousand years ago..." - E.M. Forster

In the autumn of 1915, in a slightly heroic mood, E.M. Forster arrived in Alexandria, full of lofty ideals as a volunteer for the Red Cross. Yet most of his time was spent exploring the magic, antiquity and complexity of the place in order to cope with living in what he saw as a "funk-hole". With a novelist's pen, he brings to life the fabled, romantic city of Alexander the Great, capital of Graeco-Roman Egypt, beacon of light and culture symbolized by the Pharaohs, where the doomed love affair of Antony and Cleopatra was played out and the greatest library the world has ever known was built. Threading 3,000 years of history with vibrant strands of literature and punctuating the narrative with his own experiences, Forster immortalized Alexandria, painting an incomparable portrait of the great city and, inadvertently, himself.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This work is something more than just a work of literary piety devoted to that strange and evocative city called Alexandria... it succeeds in being a small work of art, for it contains some of Forster's best prose as well as felicities of touch only a novelist of major talent could command. Vintage Forster."— Lawrence Durrell, author of The Alexandria Quartet
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780763576
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 551,590
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 5.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

E.M. Forster (1879-1970) was perhaps the most quintessential of English novelists. From the stifling drawing rooms of Howard's End to the dust and dark undercurrents of Passage to India, he captured the spirit of his time in a way that has made his six novels unforgettable and much-loved classics.

Biography

Edward Morgan Forster was born in London in 1879, attended Tonbridge School as a day boy, and went on to King's College, Cambridge, in 1897. With King's he had a lifelong connection and was elected to an Honorary Fellowship in 1946. He declared that his life as a whole had not been dramatic, and he was unfailingly modest about his achievements. Interviewed by the BBC on his eightieth birthday, he said: "I have not written as much as I'd like to... I write for two reasons: partly to make money and partly to win the respect of people whom I respect... I had better add that I am quite sure I am not a great novelist." Eminent critics and the general public have judged otherwise and in his obituary The Times called him "one of the most esteemed English novelists of his time."

He wrote six novels, four of which appeared before the First World War, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908), and Howard's End (1910). An interval of fourteen years elapsed before he published A Passage to India. It won both the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Maurice, his novel on a homosexual theme, finished in 1914, was published posthumously in 1971. He also published two volumes of short stories; two collections of essays; a critical work, Aspects of the Novel; The Hill of Devi, a fascinating record of two visits Forster made to the Indian State of Dewas Senior; two biographies; two books about Alexandria (where he worked for the Red Cross in the First World War); and, with Eric Crozier, the libretto for Britten's opera Billy Budd. He died in June 1970.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Edward Morgan Forster
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 1, 1879
    2. Place of Birth:
      London
    1. Date of Death:
      June 7, 1970
    2. Place of Death:
      Coventry, England

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