This timeless travelogue by noted hymnographer and missionary A. Mary R. Dobson recounts her journey to the manuscript-rich monastery of St. Catherine’s in the Sinai peninsula. Traveling with her cousin, Orientatlist Rendel Harris, Dobson wrote an account of her journey that still captures the imagination of modern day readers.
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A travelogue recorded with the sensitivity of a skilled writer, A. Mary R. Dobson’s account of a journey to the traditional Mount Sinai in the early 1920s with her cousin Rendel Harris, this account is an exemplar of the genre. Making a journey beyond the comfort zone of many women travelers in an era of real danger and desert hardship, Dobson allowed her interests in manuscripts and the lure of the historic past draw her to St. Catherine’s Covent. Already a haven for manuscript discovery, the monastic repository served as a beacon for the insatiably curious. This fascinating account begins with a description of the journey and impressions of the Sinai peninsula and the convent itself. The lure of the library could not long be put off. Describing the library, the cenobites, and the features of the venerable institution, Dobson also gives due regard to the local Bedouin and the majesty of Jebal Musa, the “mountain of Moses,” or traditional site of Mount Sinai. As a hymnographer and musician, she closes her account with a poetic rending of songs of angels, written shortly before her untimely death.
Augusta Mary Rachel Dobson (1872-1923) held a bachelor of music degree and was known for her hymn writing and literary pursuits. She was also a seasoned traveler and missionary worker.