From the Holy Mountain: A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium

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9780002555098: From the Holy Mountain: A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium

More than a thousand years later, using Moschos's writings as his guide, William Dalrymple set off to retrace their footsteps. Despite centuries of isolation, a surprising number of the monasteries and churches visited by the two monks still survive today, surrounded by often hostile populations. Dalrymple's pilgrimage took him through a bloody civil war in eastern Turkey, the ruins of Beirut, the vicious tensions of the West Bank and a fundamentalist uprising in southern Egypt. His book is an elegy to the slowly dying civilization of Eastern Christianity and the peoples that have kept its flame alive.

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Review:

‘Compulsively readable.’ John Julius Norwich, Observer

‘Everything a really good travel book should be: witty, learned and also very funny.’ Eric Newby

‘Any travel writer who is so good at his job as to be brilliant, applauded, loved and needed has to have an unusual list of qualities, and William Dalrymple has them all in aces. Dalrymple’s ear for conversation is as good as Alan Bennett’s. The best and most unexpected book I have read since I forget when.’ Peter Levi

‘A rich stew of history and travel narrative spiced with anecdote, opinion and bon mots…The future of travel literature lies in the hands of gifted authors like Dalrymple who shine their torches into the shadowy hinterland of the human story – the most foreign territory of all.’ Independent

‘Dalrymple stands out as one of our most talented travel writers. Energetic, thoughtful, curious and courageous.’ Sunday Times

‘William Dalrymple has effortlessly assumed the mantle of Robert Byron and Patrick Leigh Fermor.’ Guardian

‘A splendid, effective and impressive book.’ Financial Times

From the Back Cover:

“Any travel writer who is so good at his job as to be brilliant, applauded, loved and needed has to have an unusual list of qualities, and William Dalrymple has them all in aces. Dalrymple’s ear for conversation is as good as Alan Bennett’s. The best and most unexpected book I have read since I forget when.”
PETER LEVI

“Nobody but William Dalrymple – and possibly Patrick Leigh Fermor – could have produced so compulsively readable a book.”
JOHN JULIUS NORWICH, 'Observer'

“A rich stew of history and travel narrative spiced with anecdote, opinion and 'bon mots' … The future of travel literature lies in the hands of gifted authors like Dalrymple who shine their torches into the shadowy hinterland of the human story – the most foreign territory of all.”
SARA WHEELER, 'Independent'

“Compelling reading … Dalrymple’s eye for the revealing moment is as acute as ever. 'From the Holy Mountain' is rare indeed: a book that will endure.”
EDWARD MARRIOTT, 'The Times'

“Dalrymple stands out as one of our most talented travel writers. Energetic, thoughtful, curious and courageous.”
ANTHONY SATTIN, 'Sunday Times'

“Dalrymple’s threnody for Eastern Christianity ranks with the great modern travel books, Robert Byron’s 'Road to Oxiana', Patrick Leigh Fermor’s 'Time of Gifts' and Eric Newby’s 'Short Walk in the Hindu Kush'.
ALAN TAYLOR, 'Scotsman'

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