Charles Montagu Doughty

(2364 words)

Charles Montagu Doughty (1843-1926) ranks as the most important single Western explorer of Arabia and one of the greatest travel writers of all time. In highly idiosyncratic English art prose heavily influenced by Arabic words and rhythms – almost to the extent of bilingualism – his Travels in Arabia Deserta (1888) recounts his epic solo journey of 1876-78, on donkey, camel and foot, from Syria through the heart of Arabia to his final exit at the port of Jidda on the Red Sea coast. Over the course of forty chapters and one thousand pages, the reader watches Doughty as Khalil (Doughty's name in Arabia, referring to Islam's “Friend of God”, Abraham) painfully becoming the quintessential survivor as he surmounts a harsh l…

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Tabachnick, Stephen. "Charles Montagu Doughty". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 July 2008
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]

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  1. Travel writing