An Alexandria Anthology: Travel Writing Through the Centuries
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Founded by Alexander the Great over 2,300 years ago, Alexandria has belonged both to the Mediterranean and to Egypt, a luxuriant out-planting of Europe on the coast of Africa, but also a city of the East-the fabled cosmopolitan town that fascinated travelers, writers, and poets i...n the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, where French and Arabic, Italian and Greek were spoken in the cafes and on the streets. In the pages of An Alexandrian Anthology, we follow the delight of travelers discovering the strangeness of the city and its variety and pleasures, its beaches and gardens, its elegant villas, duck shoots in the marshes, desert expeditions to ancient monasteries and vanished vineyards. Most of all they are haunted by the city's resplendent past-the famous Library, the temple built by Cleopatra for Antony, the great Pharos lighthouse, one of the seven wonders of the world, of which only traces remain-we follow our travelers here too as they voyage through an immense ghost city of the imagination.