The camel kneels to receive her load, and for a while she will allow the packing to go on with silent resignation; but when she begins to suspect that her master is putting more than a just burden upon her poor hump, she turns round her supple neck, and looks sadly upon the increasing load, and then gently remonstrates against the wrong with the sigh of a patient wife.
-from “Chapter XVII: The Desert”
It’s a century and a half old, and yet it is as strikingly modern as any literary memoir published today.
A solitary Western traveler in the Middle East in 1834, this is an extraordinary work of travel writing that is more about the author’s internal journey than it is about monuments and museums, one that replicates the personal experience of travel and how it changes who we are.
Kinglake’s intimate, conversational style and his sense of humor and irony lend Eothen-the title means “from the early dawn” or “from the East”-an air that still feels as fresh and original in the 21st century as it must have when it was first published in 1844.
British writer and historian ALEXANDER WILLIAM KINGLAKE (1809-1891) was educated at Eton