Giles Milton

Rise and Fall

Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean

By

John Murray 480pp £25 order from our bookshop

Pity the lot of the modern British consul. Globalisation has undermined his raison d’être; budget cuts have robbed him of his perks. Croquet on the consulate lawn would still be jolly japes if only the Foreign Office hadn’t sold off the lawn.

How much rosier was consular life in the eighteenth century, especially for those lucky few posted to one of the great cities of the Levantine world. They lived like Oriental potentates, enjoyed vast salaries and had the power of life and death over their own nationals. Moreover, they often acted as intermediaries for the scheming viziers, eunuchs and sheikhs in whose fiefdoms they resided.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,