This book provides a fascinating and personal insight into the life and character of a much-neglected figure of early 19th-century travel, Egyptology and diplomacy.
While this biography will appeal to those with an interest in Egyptology, it is the detective work of the authors who dug deep to uncover (from the sands of time) the scandals- yes, it seems that despite diplomacy being his bread and butter, when it came to more intimate matters diplomacy went out the window!
A case in point is his getting a slave girl pregnant and later, his 'stealing' a beautiful Italian girl of 17 away from an Austrian merhcant to whom she had been sent to marry. This, understandably, caused an international quarrel, only settled when Salt was made to pay the costs of her shipment to Egypt!
So, what may look like a dull read, is nothing of the sort. Rather, it is surprisingly racey and envelopes the reader in the dusty and classic atmosphere of a time long past And Salt himself comes across as very much human, fallible and a like-able sort of chap.