The Oasis of Siwa was famous in ancient times for the Oracle of Jupiter Ammon; Alexander the Great the most distinguished of many visitors to that shrine. Siwa has since been the foal of rarer pilgrimages; but even without an oracle the place, by its beauty and isolation, has continued to exercise a fascination on travellers.
In 1850, Chapman & Hall published St. John Bayle’s Views of the Oasis of Siwah. In 1950, they published Robin Maugham’s account of his visit Siwah. He has already shown in his previous works (Nomad, North African Notebook, etc.) his ability to depict Arab lands, which have been so notable a source of inspiration for writers of English prose. His description of the town of Siwa and its inhabitants is illustrated by the fine photographs of Dimitri Papadimou. The photos and texts together produce a lively entertainment for the armchair traveller