Charles Montagu Doughty
(August 19, 1843 – January 20, 1926) was an English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
poet, writer, and traveller born in Theberton Hall, Saxmundham, Suffolk and educated at private schools in Laleham
Laleham is a village in the borough of Spelthorne, in the county of Surrey in South East England and adjoins Staines. It is within the historic boundaries of Middlesex. To its south is Laleham Park by the River Thames, across green belt farmland to its north and south east are Ashford and...
Elstree School is an English preparatory school based in Woolhampton, near Reading in Berkshire.-1848-1938 in Elstree, Herts:As its name suggests, the school was originally founded in 1848 in Elstree, Hertfordshire, at Hill House on Elstree Hill, an 18th-century Grade II Listed Building...
, and at a school for the royal navy, Portsmouth. He was a student at King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...
, eventually graduating from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Gonville and Caius College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. The college is often referred to simply as "Caius" , after its second founder, John Keys, who fashionably latinised the spelling of his name after studying in Italy.- Outline :Gonville and...
He was the father of Freda and Dorothy Doughty
Dorothy Doughty was a British sculptor and potter born in Sanremo, Italy in 1892. She was the daughter of poet, writer, and traveller Charles Montagu Doughty. She died in 1962....
He is best known for his 1888 travel book Travels in Arabia Deserta
Travels in Arabia Deserta was written by Charles Montagu Doughty who was an English poet, writer, and traveller.-References and further reading:* Cousin, John W. . 1910.* Hogarth, D.G. The Life Of Charles M. Doughty. 1928...
, 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
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO , known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18...
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
Henry Green was the nom de plume of Henry Vincent Yorke , an English author best remembered for the novel Loving, which was featured by Time in its list of the 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.- Biography :Green was born near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, into an educated family...
, whose essay on Doughty, "Apologia," is reprinted in his collection Surviving
. Green's novels arguably show some direct stylistic influence of Doughty's book, as noted by John Updike in his introduction to the collection of Green's novels, Loving; Living; Party Going.
Doughty's epic poem The Dawn in Britain
, originally published 1906 in six volumes, provides a preparatory basis and ideal to Laura (Riding) Jackson and Schuyler B. Jackson's project of establishing an access to what they argue is an inherent meaning of words in their Rational Meaning: a New Foundation for the Definition of Words and Supplementary Essays
The Jacksons hail Doughty's work as being exemplary of this access to meaning through the linguistic understanding he demonstrates in his diction, in the care he takes with his choice of words, which favors pre-Shakespearean English for reasons "fundamentally linguistic, rather than literary." Whole sections of the Jacksons' book examine Doughty's linguistic care and thinking.
- 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)