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       From the Holy Mountain







      logo200 Copyright

      Harper Press

       An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd. 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF


      Previously published in paperback by Flamingo 1998

       Reprinted eleven times

      First published in Great Britain by HarperCollinsPublishers 1997

      Copyright © William Hamilton-Dalrymple 1997

      The Author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

      A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

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      HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication

      Source ISBN: 9780006547747

      Ebook Edition © JUNE 2012 ISBN: 9780007381326

      Version: 2017-01-04


      From the reviews of From the Holy Mountain:

      ‘From the Holy Mountain is a further landmark in a writing career unblemished by failure and enlightened by an erudition worn as lightly as a cloak. Dalrymple’s lucidity and learning are woven into a writing style which is never pompous or smug … This is a brave book, intellectually, spiritually and physically. In a missive which brims with intelligence and a voracious appetite for knowledge, Dalrymple paints wonderful sketches of a twentieth-century landscape bedevilled by the conflicts of the past … a book which provokes thought as often as it entertains and beguiles’

      HUGH MACDONALD, Glasgow Herald

      ‘A delightful tale … this book brings pleasure back to reading history and travel’

      CHARLES GLASS, Sunday Express

      ‘William Dalrymple has effortlessly assumed the mantle of Robert Byron and Patrick Leigh Fermor … From the Holy Mountain is destined to be this year’s big book … an impressive achievement’

      LUCRETIA STEWART, Guardian Books of the Year

      ‘In his third book William Dalrymple has dug deep to present the case of the Middle East’s downtrodden Christians. More hard-hitting than either of his previous books, From the Holy Mountain is driven by indignation. While leavened with his characteristic jauntiness and humour, it is also profoundly shocking. Time and time again in the details of Dalrymple’s discoveries I found myself asking: why do we not know this? The sense of unsung tragedy accumulates throughout the chapters of this book … From the Holy Mountain is the most rewarding sort of travel book, combining flashes of lightly-worn scholarship with a powerful sense of place and the immediacy of the best journalism. But more than that it is a passionate cri de coeur for a forgotten people which few readers will be able to resist’

      PHILIP MARSDEN, Spectator

      ‘Dalrymple brings the past alive wonderfully and is a brilliant communicator. If In Xanadu was reminiscent of early Evelyn Waugh or the devil-may-care Peter Fleming, From the Holy Mountain evokes Robert Byron and Bruce Chatwin. It is a more poetic and disturbing book and all the better for that. It marks the maturing of a very fine writer’

      ALEX FORSYTH, Scotland on Sunday

      ‘William Dalrymple has earned a rapid reputation as a brilliant young travel writer and From the Holy Mountain is a splendid, effective and impressive book’

      J.D.F. JONES, Financial Times

      ‘Since his magnificent In Xanadu, William Dalrymple has been generally acclaimed as one of our best contemporary travel writers. In From the Holy Mountain he travels the Silk Route of ancient Byzantium through the present-day Middle East tracing the AD 578 journey of John Moschos, the great Byzantine monk, traveller and oral historian avant la lettre. His aim is to uncover the human archaeology of Eastern Christianity. It is realised in meditative, sensuous prose’

       Independent on Sunday

      ‘Utterly compelling: a meaty, intriguing volume and a worthy successor to In Xanadu and City of Djinns’

      TOM FORT, Financial Times Books of the Year

      ‘A huge, breathtaking book about a colossal journey. The writing is by turns learned and lyrical … a magnificent achievement’

       Publishing News

      ‘Any travel writer who is so good at his job as to be brilliant, applauded, loved and needed has to have an unusual list of qualities, and William Dalrymple has them all in aces. The most important is curiosity and the intrepidity it generates. Then there has to be the feeling that there never has been such a book as this, and never will be again. He must be enough of a scholar, and it helps if his jokes are really funny, and if he discovers something and goes to unexpected places. Dalrymple scores high on all these points. He knows more than Robert Byron, is less of a mythomane than Bruce Chatwin and not so dotty as Robert Fisk. He does not go slumming or patronise, but his ear for conversation – or can it be his talent for impersonation? – is as good as Alan Bennett’s. The book is a good, long read, like the works of Gibbon … The best and most unexpected book I have read since I forget when’

      PETER LEVI, The Oldie

      ‘Terrorists, devil-worshippers, nights spent in monastery cells … Dalrymple didn’t have to search out troubles during his intrepid, five-month trek through the Levant. His mentor and guide for the journey was John Moschos, a monk who travelled the same route in the sixth century AD and described the final flourish of Eastern Christianity. Dalrymple now bears witness to the almost-defunct Christian monasteries and sects of the Middle East, while also managing to recreate the world Moschos knew. It’s a wonderfully evocative book’

      HARRY RITCHIE, Mail on Sunday

      ‘Because he has the interests and enthusiasms of a scholar Dalrymple, with his magnificent zest, inspires the reader. We relish the tense air of south-east Turkey, the threat of Lebanon, the menace of Upper Egypt; and so does Dalrymple, at least in the vigorous telling

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