Red Nile:

Written by Robert Twigger
Review by Ray Taylor

Twigger treats us to an entertaining and idiosyncratic journey from prehistoric and ancient times right up to the Arab Spring.

This is a book that will satisfy both the serious student and the casual reader. The former will delight in a close reading of the text and will learn a lot from what is, in essence, a serious academic study. The latter will enjoy dipping into it and the many anecdotes, and the author’s humorous turn of phrase. For example, describing Cleopatra travelling up the Nile as the mistress of Caesar and also having an affair with the same King Herod who would later “drive Mary and Joseph to embark on a less exclusive Nile cruise with their infant son Jesus.” Or when describing gruesome details of victims of crocodile attacks and Irish traveller Eliot Warburton who, in the 1830s, had found a lad crying beside a dead crocodile which had eaten his grandmother. “He sold the crocodile for 7s 6d, with the old lady inside.”

The book is complemented with a set of wonderful colour plates and is attractively printed, bound and jacketed. Highly recommended overall.