A PASSAGE TO EGYPT

THE LIFE OF LUCIE DUFF GORDON

This absorbing account follows a remarkable 19th-century Englishwoman from her London childhood to her final years in Upper Egypt, where she shed many of her European trappings to become Noor ala Noor (Light from the Light), author and healer. With few playmates her own age, Lucie Austin's earliest friends included ``Bun Don'' (``Brother'' John Stuart Mill, then a teenager) and Jeremy Bentham, an adult in whose garden she played, avoiding the panopticon prison laid out on the flower beds. Her well-educated mother, Sarah, translated a travelogue and other works from German to help support a husband whose health was chronically fragile and whose career was a chronic failure. When Lucie, who as a youth unsettled acquaintances with a pet snake tucked into her sleeve or hair, married Sir Alexander Duff Gordon, she became, as Frank (A Chainless Soul: A Life of Emily Brontâ, 1990) notes, ``a delightful, albeit rather Bohemian hostess'' whose guests included Dickens and Thackeray. Alexander's career at the Treasury failed to advance, so Lucie, like Sarah, took up translation to supplement her family's modest income. In late 1859, Lucie was confronted with a new problem, tuberculosis, and by 1861 was warned she would not survive another English winter. After a trip to southern Africa, she returned to England and was again warned to go abroad. Leaving behind her husband and children, she set out for Egypt; there she spent most of the rest of her life and wrote Letters from Egypt, which made her an unwilling celebrity with European tourists. Unlike the typical English expatriate of her time, she shunned English communities, becoming devoted to the Arabs who surrounded her and to the country she called ``a palimpsest in which the Bible is written over Herodotus and the Koran over that.'' A memorable story that will challenge images of the 19th century as a sepia-toned world inhabited by static women.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1994

ISBN: 0-395-54688-5

Page Count: 378

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1994

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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