Longtime readers will recall that every year on September 17, I note the birthday of Edward William Lane (1801-1876), the author of The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon, a translation if the Arabian Nights, and Cairo 50 Years Ago (edited by his nephew, Stanley Lane-Poole). Manners and Customs remains an essential description of daily life in Egypt in the age of Muhammad 'Ali, and the Lexicon is unique in English. Lane, his sister Sophia Lane Poole and nephew Stanley Lane-Poole (with a hyphen unlike his mother) formed a sort of dynasty of British writers on Egypt, Arabic, and Islam.
As an old Cairo hand, I am privileged to share a birthday with Lane, so I always make note of his. Unlike him, I am not (yet) 213. [view whole blog post ]