The tragedy of the pyramids free PDF Novel :(1909) by Douglas Sladen: a romance of army life in Egypt

The tragedy of the pyramids PDF book :(1909)  by Douglas Sladen: a romance of army life in Egypt 

The tragedy of the pyramids PDF book
Egypt 1909

Excerpt from the author's introduction

The fact that I have written a novel on the coming revolution in Egypt, simultaneously with Mr. Hall Caine, is not due to an accident. I had before he began the serial publication of the " White Prophet," written about half a novel inspired by the humor of travel in Egypt. But when I had read the first two installments of the " White Prophet " I felt constrained to put aside what I had written, and write a counterblast to Mr. Hall Caine. I read no more of his book until I had finished mine. " The Tragedy of the Pyramids " is, therefore, a counterblast, not an answer, to his.

It is my idea of the form a revolution in Egypt will assume if the Egyptian Nationalist ever takes his courage in both hands. He will not do so unless the British Government and its Representative in Egypt are incredibly foolish, because, since the success of the Young Turk, there is no present chance of the agitation against the British in Egypt being Pan-Islamic

. The dangerous element in the Egyptian Nationalist movement during the past few years has been Mohammedan fanaticism. While the old Sultan and the Reactionary Party were in power in Turkey, the Nationalists hoped to put all the forces of Islam in North Africa in motion against Great Britain. But when the chief religious and chief political authorities at Constantinople proclaimed that Great Britain was the friend of liberty and the friend of Islam and that the British rule in Egypt had given Young Turkey its ideals, the chief motive force of the Egyptian Nationalist conspiracy was gone.

However, the great Senoussi Confederation in the Sahara, which only acknowledges the supremacy of the Sultan in a shadowy way, continues firm in its intention of, whenever it is strong enough, expelling the Christians from North Africa by a Holy War; while the corruption-mongers, the city mobs and the schoolboys of Egypt will continue Nationahst; and the two latter can always engineer a demonstration. To produce a bonafide revolution the fellahin, or peasants, estimated by Dr. Budge at about seven-eighths of the population, have to be thrown into the scale against the British. They cannot be made to understand what a Parhament means; they know that the British gave them water; freed them from the slavery of kourbash and corvee — the lash and forced labor — and protected their women from the lusts, and their property from the avarice of the pashas. They know that the withdrawal of the British inspectors has taken away half the value of the cotton crop — their source of wealth. The only way to rouse the fellahin against the British is a successful appeal to Mohammedan fanaticism. Another great obstacle to an Egyptian Revolution has in the Egyptian's want of organizing ability, the Egyptian's incapacity to take responsibility. To meet this I have imagined an American millionaire, with the ubiquitous ideas of Mr. Myron H. Phelps, coming forward to finance and organize a revolution in Egypt. Mr. Phelps, it will be remembered, is an American lawyer, whose plans for the future of India were set forth at length by the Daily Express, when he was in London a few months ago. The Stephen Considine of my book is an American Irishman, who has made untold wealth by the foundation of the American Hardware Trust and uses his wealth and the machinery of his business in Egypt to produce the revolution.

It may be asked how I had the audacity to write a novel simultaneously with one of the greatest living novelists, upon the same subject, and from an almost diametrically opposite point of view.

I do this because I think that Mr. HaU Caine has been misinformed, and has committed a great injustice. He implies that the British are hostile to Islam. But the great mosque of Khartoum, which he makes a feature in his story, was put up at a cost of eight thousand pounds by the British authorities of the Soudan; Lord Cromer was responsible for the restoration of the mosques in Cairo; Lord Cromer shielded the great Mohammedan University of El Azhar (which Lord Nuneham attacks in the story), which has no educational value, from the zeal of reformers; and Lord Cromer spared the Mohammedan Courts of Justice, which are the greatest obstacle to the development of civilization in Cairo?

The British are the friends of the Mohammedans; any Copt in Egypt, any native of India, would emphasize this. The Egyptian Mohammedan is fond of advancing as an argument against the British Occupation of Egypt that the Koran forbids Mohammedans to live in countries that are ruled by non-believers in Islam. A glance at any reliable work of reference on the subject would show that half the Mohammedans in the world do Have in countries which are ruled by non-believers — to wit, the empires of England, Russia and China, not to mention the French Republic.

Author: Douglas 
Sladen Publication Date:1909   

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