Charles Montagu Doughty

Charles Montagu Doughty (1843-1926) was an English poet, writer and traveller famed for his travels in Arabia openly as a Christian about which he wrote a 2 volume book "Travels in Arabia Deserta". "The book is a vast recounting of Doughty s treks through the Arabian deserts, and his discoveries there. It is written in an extravagant and mannered style, largely based on the King James Bible, but constantly surprising with verbal turns and odd inventiveness" which "became a kind of touchstone of ambitious travel writing, one valued as much for its language as for its content" (Wiki). It has been said that one needs to know Chaucerian and Elizabethean English together with Latin and Arabic and have encylopaedic knowledge of the Old Testament to be able to understand it!

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Damascus The famous opening lines of "Travels in Arabia Deserta" state "A new voice hailed me of an old friend when, first returned from the Peninsula, I paced again in that long street of Damascus that is called straight."
Hegra Seeing the Nabatean inscriptions which he had heard were at Mad?in S?lih was a major objective for his journey. Having reached the site (probably the first Westenrer to do so?) he joined the Bedouin and lived and travelled with them for 2 years instead of returning north. Extract from "Travels"
Petra During a visit in 1875 to Petra which, by then, was becoming quite well known among travellers Doughty heard of the existence of another as yet unvisited site on the pilgrim route to Medina containing Nabatean remains.


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