charles m doughty

Charles Montagu Doughty

Charles Montagu Doughty (1843 – 1926) was an English poet, writer, and traveller born in Theberton Hall, Saxmundham, Suffolk and educated at private schools and at a school for the royal navy, Portsmouth. Doughty graduated at Gonville and Cuius College, Cambridge, 1864.

He is best known for his 1888 travel book Travels in Arabia Deserta, a work in two volumes which, though it had little immediate influence upon its publication, slowly became a kind of touchstone of ambitious travel writing, one valued as much for its language as for its content. T. E. Lawrence rediscovered the book and caused it to be republished in the 1920s, contributing an admiring introduction of his own. Since then the book has gone in and out of print.

The book is a vast recounting of Doughty's treks through the Arabian deserts, and his discoveries there. It is written in an extravagant and mannered style, largely based on the King James Bible, but constantly surprising with verbal turns and odd inventiveness.

Among authors who have praised the book are the British novelist Henry Green, whose essay on Doughty, "Apologia," is reprinted in his collection Surviving. Green's novel Living arguably shows some direct stylistic influence of Doughty's book.


  • Travels in Arabia Deserta (1888)
  • The Dawn in Britain (1906)
  • Adam Cast Forth (1908)
  • The Cliffs (1909)
  • The Clouds (1912)
  • The Titans (1916)
  • Mansoul or The Riddle of the World (1920)

References and further reading

  • Cousin, John W. A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. 1910.
  • Taylor, Andrew (1999). God's Fugitive: The Life of Charles Montagu Doughty. Hammersmith; London: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0002558157 (hardcover).
  • Hogarth, D.G. The Life Of Charles M. Doughty. 1928
  • Kirk, John Foster A Supplement to Allibone's Critical Dictionary of English Literature and British and American authors 1891
  • Wanderings In Arabia arranged & introduced by Edward Garnett. Duckworth & Co 1908.
  • Passages From Arabia Deserta selected by Edward Garnett. Jonathan Cape 1931.

External links

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