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Donovan Pasha, and Some People of Egypt   By: (1862-1932)

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DONOVAN PASHA AND SOME PEOPLE OF EGYPT, Complete

By Gilbert Parker

CONTENTS Volume 1. WHILE THE LAMP HOLDS OUT TO BURN THE PRICE OF THE GRINDSTONE AND THE DRUM THE DESERTION OF MAHOMMED SELIMON THE REEF OF NORMAN'S WOE

Volume 2. FIELDING HAD AN ORDERLY THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE A TREATY OF PEACE AT THE MERCY OF TIBERIUS ALL THE WORLD'S MAD

Volume 3. THE MAN AT THE WHEEL A TYRANT AND A LADY

Volume 4. A YOUNG LION OF DEDAN HE WOULD NOT BE DENIED THE FLOWER OF THE FLOCK THE LIGHT OF OTHER DAYS INTRODUCTION

To the FOREWORD of this book I have practically nothing to add. It describes how the book was planned, and how at last it came to be written. The novel 'The Weavers' of which it was the herald, as one might say, was published in 1907. The reception of Donovan Pasha convinced me beyond peradventure, that the step I took in enlarging my field of work was as wise in relation to my art as in its effect upon my mind, temperament and faculty for writing. I knew Egypt by study quite as well as I knew the Dominion of Canada, the difference being, of course, that the instinct for the life of Canada was part of my very being itself; but there are great numbers of people who live their lives for fifty or seventy or eighty years in a country, and have no real instinct for understanding. There are numberless Canadians who do not understand Canada, Englishmen who know nothing of England, and Americans who do not understand the United States. If it is so that I have some instinct for the life of Canada, and have expressed it to the world with some accuracy and fidelity, it is apparent that the capacity for understanding could not be limited absolutely to one environment. That I understood Canada could not be established by the fact that I had spent my boyhood there, but only by the fact that some inner vision permitted me to see it as it really was. That inner vision, however, if it was anything at all was not in blinders, seeing only one section of the life of the world. Relatively it might see more deeply, more intimately in that place where habit of life had made the man familiar with all its detail, but the same vision turned elsewhere to fields where study and sympathy played a devoted part, could not fail to see; though the workman's craft, which made material the vision, might fail.

The reception given Donovan Pasha convinced me that neither the vision nor the craftsmanship had wholly failed, whatever the degree of success which had been reached. Anglo Egyptians approved the book. Its pages passed through the hands of an Englishman who had done over twenty years' service in the British army in Egypt and in official positions in the Egyptian administration, and I do not think that he made six corrections in the whole three hundred pages. He had himself a great gift for both music and painting; he was essentially exacting where any literature touching Egypt was concerned; but I am glad to think that, whatever he thought of the book as fiction, he did not find it necessary to grant absolution as to the facts and the details of incidents in character and life pourtrayed in Donovan Pasha.

Who the original of 'Donovan Pasha' was I shall never say, but he was real. There is, however, in the House of Commons today a young and active politician once in the Egyptian service, and who bears a most striking resemblance to the purely imaginary portrait which Mr. Talbot Kelly, the artist, drew of the Dicky Donovan of the book. This young politician, with his experience in the diplomatic service, is in manner, disposition, capacity, and in his neat, fine, and alert physical frame, the very image of Dicky Donovan, as in my mind I perceived him; and when I first saw him I was almost thunderstruck, because he was to me Dicky Donovan come to life. There was nothing Dicky Donovan did or said or saw or heard which had not its counterpart in actual things in Egypt... Continue reading book >>




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