Read Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petraea & the Holy Land by John Lloyd Stephens Free Online
Book Title: Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petraea & the Holy Land|
The author of the book: John Lloyd Stephens
Edition: Dover Publications
Date of issue: November 2nd 2011
ISBN 13: 9780486291550
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 354 KB
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Perhaps best known for his discovery of the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan, lawyer-turned-archaeologist John Lloyd Stephens (1805–1852) was the author of a number of highly praised travel books. The present volume, his first effort in the genre, received wide acclaim from reviewers, including Edgar Allan Poe, who found it "written with a freshness of manner evincing manliness of feeling."
Conversational and unpretentious, the book is a delightful narrative of the author's year-long journey through the Middle East, incorporating detailed observations of such architectural marvels as the Pyramids, the temples of Karnak, the red-rock city of Petra and more, and offering charming accounts of a Turkish bath, how to catch a crocodile, the wardrobe of a Nubian damsel, a night in a tomb, the hospitality of the Arabs, desert horses, Easter in Jerusalem, and much more.
Enhanced by 38 superb illustrations by Frederick Catherwood and others, this Stephens volume will delight armchair travelers with the "easy, laughing, prose style which gives his books their charm."
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John Lloyd Stephens was the son of Benjamin Stephens, one of the "oldest inhabitants" of New-York; his mother was a daughter of Judge Lloyd, of Monmouth county, New Jersey. The future traveller was brought up and educated in the city of New-York. He received his classical education at the schools of Mr. Boyle and Mr. Joseph Nelson, the blind teacher, from the latter of which he entered Columbia College at the early age of 13. He entered low in his class, but left at its head. He remained four years in college, where he was a general favorite with his fellows. On graduating, he entered the office of Daniel Lord, as a student-at-law. He remained in his office about a year, and then entered the Law School, at Litchfield, Conn. at that time under the charge of the late Judge Gould. Here he remained a year, and on his return to the city of New-York entered the office of George W. Strong as a student-at-law, where he remained until admitted to the practice of the law. On his return from Litchfield his early taste for travelling developed itself.
In company with a cousin, of about the same age with himself he projected a visit to a sister of his mother's residing in Arkansas, at that time almost terra incognita. After making their visit, instead of returning home, as at first contemplated, it was determined to go to New-Orleans. They accordingly descended the Mississippi in flat-boats, at that time the only mode of conveyance on its waters. After an absence of some months, he returned home by sea, from New-Orleans and resumed his study of law.
At the end of his novitiate he entered upon the practice of the law, at which he continued for about eight years; but he never felt or exhibited much ardor or zeal in the pursuit of this profession. During that period he took a somewhat active interest in politics, united himself to the Democratic party, and became a sort of pet speaker at Tammany Hall. He always advocated the doctrine of free trade, and was strongly opposed to all monopolies. Owing, perhaps, to his public speaking, he contracted a disease of the throat, which bid fair soon to break up his constitution. His physician happening to hint at a voyage, he seized upon it immediately, and hastened to carry it into effect. He embarked in the autumn of 1834, in the packet 'Charlemagne,' for Havre, and landing on the coast of England, went up to London, and from thence crossed to France. Thence he visited Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Russia, returning by the way of Poland and Germany to France. On his return to France from the North of Europe, and when his family expected to hear of his embarkation for home, he suddenly took passage on board a steamer at Marseilles for Egypt, by the way of Malta. He landed at Alexandria, visited Cairo, ascended the Nile as far as Thebes.
He returned home in the latter part of 1836. Prior to his return, some of his letters written from Scio, in Greece, and other places, were published, by the request of his friends, in a magazine, edited by Mr. Charles F. Hoffman, and were generally copied in the papers of the day. In 1837 he published his first work, entitled, "Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petraea and the Holy Land." This was followed, in 1838, by "Incidents of Travel in Greece, Turkey, Russia, and Poland."
In 1839, he was recommended to Governor Seward for the appointment of Agent of this State to visit Holland, for the purpose of collecting records of our colonial history; but, being opposed by the Whigs in the legislature, he did not receive the nomination. About that time Mr. Van Buren, being then President, gave him the appointment of Special Ambassador to Central America, for the, purpose of negotiating a treaty with that country. On his return to the United States he prepared a third work, entitled, "Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan;" it appeared in June 1841. While on this mission his attention was fir