Home  »  Volume XIV: English THE VICTORIAN AGE Part Two The Nineteenth Century, III  »  § 12. Curzon’s Monasteries of the Levant

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

VII. The Literature of Travel, 1700–1900

§ 12. Curzon’s Monasteries of the Levant

The same is true of The Monasteries of the Levant by Robert Curzon, afterwards lord Zouche. Between 1834 and 1837, Curzon visited Egypt, Syria, Albania and mount Athos, in order to examine and collect ancient manuscripts. A dozen years later, sitting among these books, he entertained his solitary evenings in an English country house by writing

  • some account of the most curious of these MSS. and the places in which they were found, as well as some of the adventures which I encountered in the pursuit of my venerable game.
  • The result was a charming flow of reminiscence, the expression of an engaging personality. His account of Egypt under Mehemet Ali has distinct historical value; and, in chapter XVI, he describes, as an eye-witness, the shocking scene of confusion, panic and death which took place in the church of the Holy Sepulchre on the occasion when Ibrahim pasha was present at the Easter ceremony of the holy fire. In a pleasanter and lighter vein, Curzon relates with a certain quaint simplicity his odd experiences in remote monasteries.