Read A Winter on the Nile by Anthony Sattin Online


In the winter of 1849, Florence Nightingale was an unknown 29-year-old - beautiful, well-born and deeply unhappy. After clashing with her parents over her refusal to marry, she had been offered a lifeline by family friends who suggested a trip to Egypt, a country which she had always longed to visit.This book follows her journey along the Nile: a romantic adventure, but alIn the winter of 1849, Florence Nightingale was an unknown 29-year-old - beautiful, well-born and deeply unhappy. After clashing with her parents over her refusal to marry, she had been offered a lifeline by family friends who suggested a trip to Egypt, a country which she had always longed to visit.This book follows her journey along the Nile: a romantic adventure, but also a deeply spiritual one. It was during the trip that she found emotional recovery, the inspiration to resist parental pressure and the resolve to pursue her dream of a career in nursing.By an extraordinary coincidence, taking the same boat from Alexandria was an unpublished French writer, Gustave Flaubert. Like Nightingale, he was at the crossroads in his life that was to lead to future acclaim and literary triumph. As it did for her, Egypt for him represented escape and freedom as well as inspiration. But as a wealthy young man travelling with male friends, he had access to an altogether different Egypt: where Nightingale sought out temples and dispensaries, Flaubert visited brothels and harems.Both of them were entranced, moved and liberated by the wonders of the Nile. As privileged early travellers, they saw an ancient landscape unchanged for centuries, and visited monuments still familiar to tourists today. And both wrote magnificently about the sights they saw.This is a book about a key moment in the life of Florence Nightingale, a tantalising portrait of a young woman on the brink of international fame. But it also wonderfully counterpoints her journey with that of a future French literary genius, and it provides fascinating insight into the early days of travel to one of the greatest tourist destinations on the planet....

Title : A Winter on the Nile
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780091926069
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Winter on the Nile Reviews

  • Gerry
    2019-03-14 00:32

    This is the story of two young travellers who both set out on a trip to Egypt at much the same time. Florence Nightingale left from England with a circle of friends and Gustave Flaubert left from France with a companion. Both were at a crossroads in their lives, Nightingale searching for a career, nursing her preference but her parents were totally against such a venture, and Flaubert was a young, at the time unpublished, French writer with ambitions to become one of the greats of literature.They never knowingly met on the trip although they did travel on the same ferry from Alexandria to Cairo and with only 70 passengers on board it is possible that they did, without being aware of identity, see each other and indeed Flaubert did go below at one point when he recorded seeing, 'an English family; hideous, the mother looking like a sick old parrot'. In addition,. much later on they visited the same sights at different times and when at Asyut, making their way up to the Lyscopolis caves, the French party was taken by a guide to see footprints in the sand which they were told belonged to an Englishwoman who had been there a few days earlier. And Florence NIghtingale's party had indeed visited then.Of the ferry trip to Cairo Nightingale recorded (she kept two diaries, one private and one for public consumption), 'The canal perfectly uninteresting' while Flaubert wrote, 'The banks flat and dead ...'. They were echoing views expressed by the writer Harriet Martineau who had visited Egypt a few years before as she had found her journey up the Nile, 'as serious a labour as the mind and spirit can be involved in'. Nightingale and Flaubert did not express many other views on the same topics because while Nightingale visited temples and dispensaries (to see how they worked and to view nursing facilities), Flaubert spent some of his time in the brothels and harems.On their respective trips there was plenty of time for the travellers to reflect on their past and Nightingale spent quite some time thinking of her relationship with Richard Monckton Milnes, who had, back at home, raised the subject of marriage with her. Although she spoke of him as 'the man I adored' she was not for marriage for she objected to the role of women in that institution; she wanted a career, not to be tied down to a husband. Flaubert, on the other hand, was consumed with his passion to produce a great novel and when not thinking of that he wrote in his diary, 'I can see nothing better in the world for me than a nice, well heated room with the books I love and the leisure to enjoy them.' [Happiness indeed!]So on they went, up and down the Nile, with Nightingale at Abu Simnel writing home about the cow-headed goddess Hathor, to whom the temple at Abu Simnel was dedicated. She wrote that Hathor was 'the nurse who fills heaven and earth with her beneficent acts'. This was exactly what Nightingale had decided she, too, wanted to do. And it was just beyond Abu Simnel that Flaubert first conceived the idea for his future novel. 'I have found it! Eureka! Eureka! I will call her Emma Bovary', his travelling companion recalled him saying a number of times, each time savouring the name Bovary. The winter on the Nile could certainly be said to have been the catalyst for both these travellers' future careers. Near the end of their trip, the pair had differing views on Karnak with Nightingale writing, 'What do people come to Egypt for? I cannot think.' Flaubert meanwhile was sad at leaving the place and thought Karnak 'by far the finest place we have seen on this trip'. And there are plenty of other interesting comments on other parts of Egypt throughout the book.By the time they had returned to Alexandria, Nightingale was convinced that she would become a nurse (and so she did as history records) and Flaubert, with his statement, 'I have a burning desire to write', knew that he was going to pen a famous novel on his return to France (and so he did).Anthony Sattin gives us an excellent picture of Victorian Egypt and the leisurely way one travelled through it in those times, plus he presents superb character portraits of the two protagonists as they shadowed each other across Egypt. It is a most readable, highly informative and most enjoyable book - one can easily imagine that one is relaxing on a cange (one of the Nile cruising boats) as it makes it peaceful way down the river!

  • Lisa
    2019-03-13 05:48

    This was very interesting to me. In part, it was interesting to see how the temples and cities in Egypt have changed over 160 years. Of course the way I saw them looks nothing like the sights Nightingale and Flaubert saw. Their individual stories were also intriguing. Their trips in 1849 were before either was famous so they were anonymous as they traveled at the same time to the same places, probably seeing but not recognizing one another. Their perspectives on the same trip were very different but both struggled to find a way to live their passions. Both were changed by their trips and propelled to fame shortly afterward because of the decisions they made. I thought it was all fascinating.

  • Diane Challenor
    2019-02-25 06:48

    I really enjoyed this book, well written with a excellent depth of knowledge about Egypt and the two travellers, that is, Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert. The part I enjoyed the most was where the author, Anthony Sattin, shares extracts of Florence Nightingale's diaries and letters. I'm intrigued and surprised by Florence's beautiful prose, she has the ability to capture, in words, the atmosphere and beauty of the world around her. Also I am pleasantly surprised by her intelligence demonstrated by her empathetic unbiased grasp of the similarities between different religions. A good story, a good read!

  • Magdah Amin
    2019-03-02 06:40

    May be if I was more objective, I would have rated it the The Five Full Stars, but I was not.Generally Speaking .. I truly loved the novel, loved it so much, I loved to read about my country and to see it in the eyes of foreigners who loved it that much. I loved to read about one of the best, most beautiful trips one can ever go through, the River Nile Cruise (certainly it differs a lot now from that time of the novel (Winter 1849))HOW DID THEY SEE MY COUNTRY ?? What would one ever write about his own country better than what is written in this novel ?!!Cannot write better than the very last words of the novel .. "But the last word should be from Florence Nightingale. While sailing on the Nile, She Had Declared It --Impossible That People Could Return From Egypt and Live Their Lives as They had Done Before --" Falubert would have agreed with her. Time proved her right.So Farewell, Dear, Beautiful, Noble Egypt, The Country which Brought Forth a Race of Giants, Giants In War, Art, Science and Philosophy. Farewell Without Regret, Without Pain (except a merely personal sorrow), For There Is Nothing Mournful In The Remains Of A Country Which Like Its Own Old Nile, Has Overflowed and Fertilized The World.Whence comes thou, so marvelously dowered as ne'er other stream on earth beside?Where are thy founts of being, thus empowered to form a nation by their annual tide?The charts are silent; history guesses wide; adventure from thy quest returns ashamed; and each new age, in its especial pride, believes that it shall be as that one named, in which to all mankind thy birth-place was proclaimed

  • Robert Parker
    2019-03-21 01:24

    A wonderful read where two amazing personalities, Nightingale and Flaubert, happen to cross paths on the Nile. Again, we see the plight of the bright and ambitious woman forced to take a back seat to conventions of the time. We had just return from a trip down the exoctic Nile, so this book struck a responsive chord.

  • Imogen
    2019-02-28 03:48

    Part dual biography, part travel history, part Egyptomania nostalgia. Delicious.

  • Kay
    2019-03-25 00:25

    Interesting book about Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert who both visited Egypt in 1849-50, their experiences and the effect it had on their subsequent careers.