The book is a treatment of the British colony in Egypt from the eighteenth century to the end of the twentieth century, revealing deep-seated cultural and economic links, while also considering how the mundane concerns of ordinary colonials fared in a strategically vital imperial base... , with all its attendant complications. -- .
This book is a comprehensive portrait of the British colony in Egypt, which also takes a fresh look at the examples of colonial cultures memorably enshrined in Edward W. Said's classic Orientalism. Arguing that Said's analysis offered only the dominant discourse in imperial and colonial narratives, it uses private papers, letters, memoirs, as well as the official texts, histories and government reports, to reveal both dominant and muted discourses. While imperial sentiment certainly set the standards and sealed the image of a ruling caste culture, the investigation of colonial sentiment reveals a more diverse colony in temperament and lifestyles, often intimately rooted in the Egyptian setting. The method involves providing biographical treatments of a wide range of colonials and the sometimes contradictory responses to specific colonial locations, historical junctures and seminal events, like invasion and war or grand imperial projects including the Alexandria municipality. -- .
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