At the Literature Summer festival Robert Irwin will talk about European novelists (Flaubert, De Amicis, Gertrude Bell), artists, composers and academics writing about oriental history and culture. He will also speak about ‘oriental mysteries’ in the works of established Russians including Rimsky Korsakov, Vereshchagin and Kratchkovsky. Apart from sharing travellers’ experience of the Middle East, Robert Irwin will speak about how the Middle East has changed since he first ventured into it in the 1960s. 

His lecture "Far Away and Long Ago: The Orient of Western Adventurers in Youth and Old Age" will take place at 3.15 pm at the main stage "Open-air summer sinema hall" in the Muzeon Park of Arts on June, 27, 2015.

The partiicipation is free of charge, registration is required. 

Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin is a British historian, novelist, and writer of Arabic literature. His books are published in several countries including the US, the UK, and France and are translated into various languages.

Robert Irwin was born in 1946. He attended Epsom College in Surrey, in the South-East of England. Having obtained Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Arabic Studies he began his academic teaching career, lecturing in the Department of Medieval History at the University of St. Andrews until 1977. He undertook his graduate research at the School of Oriental and African Studies and this interest in the eastern world has largely influenced his further works.

However, Robert quit his full-time teaching career in order to write fiction, non-fiction and various articles while continuing to lecture part-time at Oxford, Cambridge and SOAS. In 1983, he became a Director and co-founder of the publisher, Dedalus, where many of his books were published. He remained in this role until 2013.

Many of Irwin's fiction novels focus on Arabic themes. This includes his first, the acclaimed dark fantasy novel The Arabian Nightmare, published in 1983. Since 1986 Robert Irwin has continued to explore the Arabic theme, publishing more non-fiction books, such as  The  Middle East in the Middle Ages: The Early  Mamluk  Sultanate 1250-1382 (1986), Night and Horses and the Desert: the Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature (1999) and Mamluks and Crusaders (2010).

Between 1983 and 2014 Robert Irwin wrote more than 10 non-fiction works, 7 fiction books, and a large number of articles, comments, and introductions to various books, as he continues to explore his favourite topic.