Alexandria | Granta

  • Published: 02/01/2014
  • ISBN: 9781847087041
  • 129x20mm
  • 400 pages


Peter Stothard

Finding himself in Alexandria in the winter of 2010, Peter Stothard, editor of the TLS and former editor of The Times, is forced to contemplate his past in circumstances he does not expect. The aftermath of a bombing and the onset of the Arab Spring place obstacles in his plans to complete a long-delayed biography of Cleopatra. Minded by two guides, whose motives are mixed and mysterious, he visits Alexandria’s ancient sites and revisits places and people from his own life, an Essex childhood among military engineers, Latin and Greek at Oxford and journalism high and low in London. In this extraordinary book, part memoir and part travel literature, written against the background of the fracturing police state of Egypt, a man and a woman from the author’s school days are as pressing as the political minders of today.

[Alexandria] exerts a powerful attraction. It is as good an evocation of one of the world's most absorbing cities as one could imagine. It is the depth and quality of Stothard's insights into himself that will make me go back to this book again and again

John Simpson, Mail on Sunday

A fine travel book. The editor of the TLS, Peter Stothard, found inspiration in Alexandria and writes of its place in his heart and his obsession with Cleopatra

Melissa Katsoulis, Daily Telegraph

Others can praise Stothard's journalistic precision but what impressed me more is the Classical self-knowledge... [Alexandria is] shot through with a supremely humane intelligence

Stuart Kelly, Scotsman

The Author

Peter Stothard is the Editor of the TLS and the author of two books of diaries, Thirty Days (2003) and On the Spartacus Road (2010). He is a classicist who has spent most of his life as a political and literary journalist. From 1992 to 2002 he was the Editor of The Times. In 2012 he was chairman of the judges for the Man Booker Prize. He was knighted in 2003. His latest book, Alexandria, was published by Granta Books in 2013.

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