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Legends of the House of the Cretan Woman

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The House of the Cretan Woman, Bait al-Kretliya, is a sixteenth-century merchant's house that stands adjacent to the ninth-century mosque of Ibn Tulun, in one of the oldest quarters of Cairo. Both the house and the mosque are the subjects of the popular myths gathered in this magical book. In the 1930s the house served as the home of Gayer-Anderson Pasha, an English doctor and art collector, who furnished it with his collections and left it to the Egyptian government in 1945, and it was Gayer-Anderson who ...
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Overview

The House of the Cretan Woman, Bait al-Kretliya, is a sixteenth-century merchant's house that stands adjacent to the ninth-century mosque of Ibn Tulun, in one of the oldest quarters of Cairo. Both the house and the mosque are the subjects of the popular myths gathered in this magical book. In the 1930s the house served as the home of Gayer-Anderson Pasha, an English doctor and art collector, who furnished it with his collections and left it to the Egyptian government in 1945, and it was Gayer-Anderson who collected and translated the stories that are the subject of this book from Sheikh Sulaiman, the last head of the Kretli family and guardian of the saint's tomb that flanks the house. He also commissioned a local artisan to create a series of illustrations on copper plates, one to depict each of the fourteen legends, and published the stories with the drawings, along with his own introductory description of the house, in a small edition in England in 1951 that is now long out of print.
For this new edition of this classic book, the author's grandson, Theo Gayer-Anderson, an illustrator and a specialist in restoration and conservation, has enhanced and added color to the original monochrome drawings to reanimate the world of benevolent serpents, magical wells, sultans and serving girls, djinns and saints that surrounds the house and the mosque.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789774246012
  • Publisher: American University in Cairo Press, The
  • Publication date: 2/1/2001
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

R.G. Gayer-Anderson was born in 1881, educated at Tonbridge School, and qualified as a doctor in 1903 from Guy's Hospital, London. He received his commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the following year and was seconded to the Egyptian Army in 1906. He spent the rest of his career in the service of Egypt, first in the Army then in the Egyptian Civil Service, and in 1923-24 as Oriental Secretary to the High Commissioner, Lord Allenby.
In 1935, at his request, the Egyptian government gave him possession on certain conditions of the sixteenth-century Bait al-Kretliya, which he occupied until 1942, when he left Egypt for reasons of health. The Bait al-Kretliya, furnished with his remarkable collections, became the Gayer-Anderson Museum, which remains open to visitors to this day. In recognition of this gift and of his services to Egypt, King Farouk bestowed on him the rank of Lewa (Major General), carrying with it the title of Pasha. He died in 1945 and is buried at Lavenham in Suffolk, England
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Table of Contents

Foreword 1
Introduction 5
The House of the Cretan Woman 17
The Legends 27
A Note on the Illustrations 29
The First Legend: The Landing of Noah's Ark 31
The Second Legend: Abraham's Sacrifice 35
The Third Legend: The Confounding of Pharaoh's Magicians 39
The Fourth Legend: The Burning Bush 43
The Fifth Legend: Ahmad Ibn Tulun Builds His Mosque 47
The Sixth Legend: The House is Built 53
The Seventh Legend: The Benevolent Serpent 59
The Eighth Legend: The Enamoured Well 65
The Ninth Legend: Sultan al-Watawit and His Seven Daughters 71
The Tenth Legend: More Magic of the Well of the Bats 77
The Eleventh Legend: The Secret Chamber 81
The Twelfth Legend: A Saint on the Premises 87
The Thirteenth Legend: More of Our Saint's Miraculous Benefits 93
The Fourteenth Legend: Mosque and House Fall on Evil Days But Rise Again 99
The Island at Aswan 105
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