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A gripping survey of a fascinating period
on 4 November 2003
I'm surprised no-one has written a review of Artemis Cooper's book before this. It's the only connected survey of this fascinating period, with details on just about everything from King Farouk and the formidable Princess Shevekiar to the British army and the Berka (the infamous red light district). There's also plenty on Pastroudi's and the famous Shepheard's hotel. If you've read Olivia Manning or seen The English Patient, this will paint the broader picture. The remarkable thing about this book is the cast of hundreds of British visitors during the war, from writers to entertainers (like No‘l Coward) and, of course, Winston Churchill. It's the sort of non-fiction work that you find you can't put down.