The dwelling-places of the Apis, in the grim darkness beneath the Memphite desert, are, as all the world knows, monster coffins of black granite ranged in catacombs, hot and stifling as eternal stoves.
-from "Chapter VI: In the Tombs of the Apis"
Called one of the finest descriptive writers of his day, and certainly one of the most original, French writer and sailor Pierre Loti traveled the world in the late 19th century and painted what he saw in prose acclaimed as extraordinarily rhythmic and lyrical.
This 1909 novel is a dreamlike reverie of a journey through Egypt just before it became overrun by Western tourists. For readers today, it serves as a window into a world forever lost.
Also available from Cosimo Classics: Loti's Between Two Opinions.
French writer LOUIS MARIE JULIEN VIAUD (1850-1923), aka Pierre Loti, served in the French navy, his experiences in which were the basis of much of his writing. He is also the author of An Iceland Fisherman, Madame Chrysantheme, and The Story of a Child.