An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians
Edward William Lane (1801–76) published this work in two volumes in 1836. Resident in the country for many years, and fluent in Arabic, he devoted his life's study to Egypt. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Institut de France, Lane translated One Thousand and One Nights and selections from the Koran. His major work was an Arabic–English lexicon; a monumental undertaking, he was working on the sixth volume when he died. Volume 2 of Modern Egyptians primarily details Cairo's vibrant public space, covering drug use, games, street music and dancers, as well as snake charmers, storytelling, celebratory festivals, and funerals. It also examines Egyptian industry and the Jewish and Copt minorities. A bestseller in its own day, this well-illustrated work remains a key text for students of nineteenth-century Egypt and the Arab world.