Canal de Suez (Inauguration). Manuscrit du Comte Henri de Carnazet. Voyage en Egypte 9bre et Xbre 1869 – Inauguration du Canal de Suez.


Book ID: 35831


4to. French text, 41 pp., + title page: Voyage en orient 1869-1870. Quelques Notes sur la haute et la basse Egytpe. Neatly handwritten, minor light foxing on title and one other page, 1869.


UNIQUE AND RARE TRAVEL JOURNAL WRITTEN BY THE COUNT OF CARNAZET, between the 5th of November to the 2nd of December 1869 on his trip through Upper Egypt (to Denderah near Luxor). It also narrates the inauguration of the Suez canal on the 17th of November 1869, in the presence of the Empress Eugenie.

An interesting travel diary in Upper Egypt (as far as Denderah, near Luxor), kept by the Comte de Carnazet from November 5 to December 2, 1869, which contains a report of the inauguration of the Suez Canal (November 17, 1869), in the presence of Empress Eugenie. Henri de Carnazet made the trip on an imperial ship, the Thabor. “We are finally in our place in the port, it was not without difficulty, we had to stop many times, start again and then stop again. All the ships have just been crowned. The English have more warships here than we do. As soon as sovereigns appear, there are new discharges of cannon, at every moment we see sailors ascending the yards and the pavilions saluting the passing Sovereigns […]. On the seashore at the entrance to the canal, three platforms stand out. The middle one is occupied by the sovereigns, on the right are the Catholics and on the left the Muslims. Like caged lions, the Khedive brought these fanatics from Mecca, not to bless the canal since in their religion there is no blessing, but to oppose the Catholics to the representatives of Islam. At first I had taken them for models with terrible faces; but finally here they are, moving and reading us an old parchment. When the reading is over, the crowd has already taken hold of their booth. Monsignor Baser climbs onto the platform in front of the sovereigns; silence reigns on all sides. His speech is nothing but a litany of compliments and praise. He calls the Khedive a great civilizer, a magnanimous ruler. Monsieur de Lesseps has not been forgotten, he calls him a hero and ends with a parallel between him and Christopher Columbus […] “. The rest of the diary recounts the rise of the Nile to Dendera, to Upper Egypt.

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