This two-volume work is the result of seven months of field work in Egypt, during which Alfred Butler was a private tutor to Prince Tawfik from 1880 to 1881. Butler visited most of the old churches and monasteries in and around Cairo and traveled to the Wadi al-Natrun, the monasteries of the Red Sea and a number of churches in Upper Egypt. His descriptions are invaluable and sometimes are the only record of what we know about a certain object or church.
"It is an important document for its time and an early and influential example of unprejudiced scholarly interest for the culture of the Coptic Church."--Karel InnemTe, Leiden University, from the introduction to this reprint
Alfred Joshua Butler was born at Loughborough, Leicestershire in 1850. He studied at Trinity College, Oxford, and then was elected fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. After being assistant master at Winchester from 1874 to 1879, he was the private tutor to Prince Tawfik in 1880-81. He kept an interest for Egypt till the end of his life. He also wrote The Arab Conquest of Egypt (1902), and Court Life in Egypt (London, 1887), partly based on his own experiences. Together with B.T.A. Evetts he published The Churches and Monasteries of Egypt and some neighbouring Countries attributed to Abu Salih, the Armenian (1895, Gorgias Press reprint 2001).