Paris fashions are elegant and the shoes are tempting, But then again, the boots in the window are not meant for these cobbled alleys!
Tonight there was a book reading at Shakespeare and company, the English bookstore in Paris. Anthony Sattin, specialist on the Middle East and author of several highly acclaimed books, was here for the launch of his book A winter on the Nile. He discovered and edited Florence Nigtingale’s letters from her journey of self-discovery up the Nile in 1849-50. By an extraordinary coincidence, taking the same boat from Alexandria was an unpublished French writer, Gustave Flaubert. Both of these extraordinary figures were on the brink of international fame. Unaware of each other, they traveled at the same time, followed the same route and were both transformed by this journey. His book provides intriguing insight into the early days of travel to a great tourist destination.
Anthony Sattin is a fascinating person and captivating speaker. In Hugh Thomson’s words, he “made his principal characters dance a ghostly polka as they shadowed each other across Egypt”. How I look forward to reading my signed copy! I am so grateful that my fellow South African introduced me to the literary tradition at Shakespeare & Co.