Robert Twigger swirls up the history of the Red Nile

Red Nile Robert TwiggComing soon to a non-fiction hardback aisle near you is Robert Twigger’s Red Nile: The Biography of the World’s Greatest River going over the bloody history of the great African waterway. Making fertile the arid desert landscape of north eastern Africa, the Nile has also been the scene of more death rolls than a sushi front for the Yakuza.

Set for release on the 25th April 2013, Twigger’s epic historical account of the Nile takes us from the early rivers that ran Northwards from the Ethiopian uplands, up to the present day lifeblood wrangle over the water that flows through 11 countries before spilling out on its massive delta into the Mediterranean Sea.


The telling of the story of the Nile is inspired by his back garden adventures down the great river and the sheer abundance of history that is piled up at the banks that it passes every day. With islands where Moses’ basket once ran aground, landing sites for Mary and Joseph when they fled from King Herod (the swine) and cruise paths of Cleopatra and Caesar there’s a lot to cover, which is why there’s 480 pages to swathe on through.

From the sound of things, Red Nile isn’t just going to be a simple chronological history of the river. Twigger’s own experience of the modern day reality of the Nile’s history is the core of the book.

There will also be accounts of the Nile Crocodile’s ferocity (apparently it’s the deadliest creature in the world, although we can’t find any proof of it and think it’s probably more likely going to be the mosquito) as well as all the other blood that has been spilled, pulling together the assassinations, murders and death-tolls that have been racked up over time along red river.

Published through the Orion Group, it’s their latest historic book with a modern twist. It sounds like a really interesting read, so we’re putting it on our reading list, although that does mean finishing the Hilary Mantel tombs that we were given to plough through recently.