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On the issue of the British presence in Egypt: the business of “Thomas Cook and Son” in the assessment of contemporaries (the last third of the 19th century)


The purpose of the study is to determine how the development of the tourism business of Thomas Cook and Son in the Nile Valley influenced the perception and assessment of contemporaries of the British presence in Egypt at the end of the 19th century. The relevance of the analyzed problem lies in the fact that the study of the history of tourism in the era of New imperialism allows us to supplement our understanding of the representations of the empire and private busi-ness and their mutual influence. It is substantiated that, according to the views of contemporaries, the activities of the company contributed to the creation of conditions for the economic develop-ment of Egypt, opened these territories to the world, providing free movement along the Nile, and contributed to the spread of the English language, making this country more “civilized” in the eyes of Europeans. We conclude that, at the same time, the handbooks of the company broadcasted the achievements of the imperial policy of Great Britain, reinforcing the idea of the positive conse-quences of the British occupation for Egypt. It is concluded that the commercial success of private business became a visible manifestation of the success of the England’s civilizing mission. The research materials can be used to further study the relationship between the development of mass tourism and the colonial policy of Great Britain.


British Empire; occupation of Egypt; imperial consciousness; tourism history; Thomas Cook and Son; John Mason Cook

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