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By Timothy Paris

T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia) defined his war-time leader as "the ideal leader", a guy who "worked through impact instead of by means of loud course. ... He used to be like water, or permeating oil, creeping silently and insistently via every little thing. It was once impossible to assert the place Clayton used to be and was once no longer, and what kind of rather belonged to him." this can be the 1st biography of basic Sir Gilbert Clayton (1875–1929), Britain's pre-eminent "man-on-the-spot" throughout the early life of the fashionable center East.

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1863–79). But, ominously, Sa‘id was the first modern Egyptian ruler to incur European debt – to the tune of £7,000,000 – used, in part, to finance the Canal. The opening of the Suez Canal was a watershed in modern Egyptian history. Prior to 1869, many European investors had interests in Egypt, particularly in cotton, the country’s primary export. But after the Canal opened, Egypt assumed a new and strategic significance out of all proportion to the country’s economic importance. 10 Consistent with this policy, British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli purchased Egypt’s shares in the Canal Company (about 40% of the total, the balance being held by French investors) in 1874 for a mere £4,000,000.

The focus was not surprising. With its large continental population – mostly Greek and Italian – its beautiful Italianate buildings, French street names, European clubs and its popular opera, Alexandria appeared more European than Egyptian. As a result, it held little appeal for the western tourist seeking something of the exotic East or of Egypt’s ancient past. In fact, almost nothing remained of Alexandria’s halcyon days when it was the greatest centre of learning in the ancient world. ’12 The assessment was accurate.

The relief force retired to the north. Six months later the Mahdi himself died, in less heroic circumstances, probably succumbing to typhus. The ensuing outcry, the fury of the press and public with Gladstone and his ministers for allowing the death of Gordon, was unbounded. The government only just survived, by fourteen votes, in the House of Commons. And the formidable Lord Salisbury, moved a vote of censure in the Lords.

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