Mouths of the Sevenfold Nile: Modern Egypt in English Fiction

  • Derek Hopwood
Part of the St Antony’s book series


This century has seen a flow of English novels and short stories concerned with modern Egypt. Even though many of them are not of intrinsically high quality, it is interesting to survey them because they reveal the different approaches which the western imagination makes use of when confronting an alien environment. One cannot claim that the English fiction that deals with Egypt forms a genre of its own: in fact, the works separate themselves into several distinct streams—hence the allusion in the title to Virgil’s ‘septemgemini ostia Nili’. These English mouths that speak about the Nile have enough in common in what they say, but also enough variety, for them to be the subject of a comparative and contrastive survey of variations in the treatment of the same overall theme.


Short Story Western Desert Arabic Language Egyptian Woman Arabic Literature 
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  1. 2.
    See M. A. Manzalaoui, ‘Curate’s Egg: An Alexandrian Opinion of Durrell’s Quartet’, Etudes anglaises XV (1962), 248–60.Google Scholar
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    Samuel Norris, Two Men of Manxland: Hall Caine, Novelist; T. E. Brown, Poet (Douglas 1947); p. 66. From this same passage, we learn that The White Prophet fell flat; Caine bought in the unsold copies to prevent their being remaindered.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© St. Antony’s College 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Hopwood
    • 1
  1. 1.St Antony’s CollegeUniversity of OxfordUK

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