Rue goes in for the capital, Cairo, while Alexia spent most of her time in the port city of Alexandria.
- Founded by Alexander of Macedon (the Great) c. 332-331 B.C.
- Located in the Nile delta
- Renowned for its giant lighthouse – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, destroyed
- Library at Alexandria, destroyed
- Mouseion (of which the library was a part) Ptolomy’s center of science and philosophy
- Roman catacombs
- Capital of the country for close to 1,000 years
- Citadel of Qait Bey, Pompey’s Pillar, the Roman Theater, the Presidential Palace, Montaza Palace, and the Ras el-Tin Palace
- Additional information on Ancient Vine
|Alexandia shoreline 1882, personal collection
- Egypt under the Muhammad Ali Pasha dynasty (1805–1953)
- Khedivate of Egypt under British patronage ~ specifically Sanctioned khedival rule (1867–1914)
- Nominally independent Sultanate of Egypt and Kingdom of Egypt, ending with the Revolution of 1952 and the formation of the Republic of Egypt
- 1882 civil unrest, rebellion
In Imprudence I have one quick reference to the troubles of 1882. I knew of this from my prior research for Timeless. I did a blog post about it at the time, in March of 2011 when we were experiencing the Arab Spring.
|Alexandria 1882 landscape rebellion, personal collection
From Wikipedia: “Isma’il was succeeded by his eldest son Tewfik, who, unlike his younger brothers, had not been educated in Europe. Tewfik pursued a policy of closer relations with Britain and France but his authority was undermined in a rebellion led by his war minister, Arabi Pasha, in 1882. Arabi took advantage of violent riots in Alexandria to seize control of the government and temporarily depose Tewfik.”
|Alexandria 1882, personal collection
“British naval forces shelled and captured Alexandria, and an expeditionary force under General Sir Garnet Wolseley was formed in England. The British army landed in Egypt soon afterwards, and defeated Arabi’s army in the Battle of Tel el-Kebir. Arabi was tried for treason and sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to exile. After the revolt, the Egyptian army was reorganized on a British model and commanded by British officers.”
|Victorians leaving Alexandria by steam ship, 1882, personal collection
In Timeless, Alexia visits Alexandria, in April of 1876 when things are comparatively calm.
The eagle eye will notice that the background for the US cover is actually Cairo, where Alexia never goes in the book. Although I think I added a mention of her stopping over, just to explain away the cover. I’ve no idea what city is depicted in the background of the second omnibus.
Japan set Timeless floating over a rather lush river, it’s possible there are some areas of the Nile that are that green. Generally it’s a bit more bare or palm tree riddled, but I won’t quibble too much. Germany put Alexia back into Cairo.
|Alexandria is all the way off to the left in this image. Cairo is the bottom tip.
- Rue visits my version of steampunk Egypt in October of 1895 during the reign of Tewfik’s son, Abbas II.
- Sudanese territory has been lost (as the British would think of it) to an Islamic state.
- Shortly after Rue leaves in 1896 (Abbas II), a massive Anglo-Egyptian force, under “General Herbert Kitchener, began the reconquest of the Sudan. The Mahdists were defeated in the battles of Abu Hamid and Atbara. The campaign was concluded with the Anglo-Egyptian victory of Omdurman, the Mahdist capital.”
- At first I was going to take Rue back to Alexandria, partly so I could use Alexia to discuss how the city has changed in the past 20 years. But in Timeless I mention that Lord Maccon purchased property in Cairo for their retirement, well within the plague zone. So I switched Rue’s location to Cairo. Lost a bit of writing time there since I’d already done 2K on Alexandria in a new more steampunky form, but it worked much better for the plot line to be in Cairo, anyway.
- I scrabbled about for any further Victorian perspectives on Cairo or the rest of Egypt between 1883 ~ 1895. But there appears to be no major issues of civil unrest and in this the British press seems akin to their modern counterparts, which is to say, not particularly interested if there is no blood involved.
- I didn’t spend a great deal of time on it as, quite frankly, Rue doesn’t spend a great deal of time in the city. Although I hope you will notice I steampunked Cairo up especially as compared to Alexandria in Timeless. The march of technological advancement is strong with this one.
|Alexandria Image #95
* second largest city in Egypt
* typical Mediterranean climate: extremely warm/humid days in summer, breezy and cool in the evenings, winter is chilly with rain and hail not uncommon, spring and autumn are best weather.
|Mix of ancient and modern.
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