A history of crusaiders Vol.3. The Kingdom of Acre and Other by Runciman S

By Runciman S

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They fluctuated between desire, pity, contempt and outrage. Oriental women were painted as erotic victims and as scheming witches. Chardin saw them as 'les plus mechantes femmes de la terre; fieres, superbes, perfides, fourbes, cruelles, impudiques'. 47 They spent their lives in sexual preparation (Chardin recounted that they filled linen pouches with musk and introduced them 'dans Ia partie que Ia pudeur ne me permet pas de nommer'. 48 ) and in sexual intrigue. They dallied with each other when their men were absent: 'les femmes Orientales ont toujours passe pour Tribades' 49 (a point that Burton would later stress5°).

He returned to Egypt in 1834 in order to augment his notes, and set up temporary household there. He wrote in the Introduction to Modern Egyptians: What I have principally aimed at, in this work, is correctness; and I do not scruple to assert that I am not conscious of having endeavoured to render interesting any matter that I have related by the slightest sacrifice of truth. 5 Such an overburdened and cautious sentence implied how acutely aware Lane was of the wiles used traditionally by travellers to 'render interesting' the matters they related.

Lane's narrative (both in Modern Egyptians and in his translation of the Arabian Nights) was highly genteel, conforming to the ethical codes of middle-class morality. It strove to inform without offending, to place before the Victorian public an East tailor-fitted to please. Lane made a deliberate effort to weed out seemingly objectionable incidents or descriptions, all that might have offended an increasingly squeamish middle-class readership. 33 His intention was to produce a useful, enlightening and sober family book, but one that would nevertheless bear the imprint of his learning.

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