Paris. Flammarion. 2003. First English-language Edition. Hardback, dust jacket. 216 pages. Illustrated throughout with archival photographs. 280 x 280mm (11 x 11"). 1.75kg. English. Fine; no marks, tears or inscriptions.
'A tourist perched on a camel, a Bugatti at the foot of the pyramids, high tea served in jasmine-draped gardens... these are the images of Egypt under the last kings, Fuad and Farouk, in the first half of the twentieth century. This era saw the birth of organized tourism on a grand scale, under the guiding genius of Thomas Cook, with fifty thousand wealthy adventurers boarding boats each year for the Nile. Among this throng, however, were those not content to be simply photographed in front of the ruins and then return home. In a country looking toward Europe and "protected" by the British army, a very particular social set formed in Cairo and Alexandria. Within this cosmopolitan, ephemeral world, cinema and avant-garde theater flourished, featuring such stars as dancer Samia Gamal, director Youssef Chahine, and actor Omar Sharif. Fascinating and often witty accounts of these times have been left by Egyptian writers and celebrated travelers to the country, including Rudyard Kipling, Jean Cocteau, and André Gide. Extraordinary period photographs also survive, from tourists in white suits and panama hats to exotic local dancers. Together these accounts and photographs offer a rare glimpse of another era, bringing alive once again the fragile and effervescent glamour of Egypt under the last kings.' (from the blurb).