Chapter

Scholar and Man of Letters

Jason Thompson

in Edward William Lane 1801–1876

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9789774162879
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970214 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774162879.003.0023
Scholar and Man of Letters

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An aura of achievement surrounded Edward William Lane. He became known as “Egyptian Lane”, Britain's foremost authority on the modern Near East. His personal charm was what people noticed. Everyone liked him. It is too easy to infer from his lifestyle in later years that Lane was a natural recluse, devoid of social skills; in fact, he was the opposite. Few could know Lane without seeking to be his friend and his worth was not that of an uncut diamond. The courtesy and grace of his manners were conspicuous. Lane would have become quite a figure on the Victorian intellectual scene, but self-promotion was never part of his personality, and he had little interest in personal glory. Lane supervised the finances, receiving funds from Hay and doling out payments to Bonomi as they were due, but his involvement in the actual business was small and required no close supervision.

Keywords: Edward William Lane; recluse; Victorian; Bonomi; scholar

Chapter.  10301 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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