The University of Wisconsin Press


Travel / Middle East / Memoir / Gay Interest




Cleopatra's Wedding Present
Travels through Syria
Robert Tewdwr Moss
New introduction by Lucretia Stewart

Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies
Joan Larkin and David Bergman, Series Editors


"[This] intense, evocative account . . . has acquired its near-mythical status by stealth and word of mouth."
—Lucretia Stewart, from the introduction

Cleopatra's Wedding Present is the rare book that captivates its reader from the first page. Like the best travel books, Robert Tewdwr Moss's memoir of his travels through Syria resonates on many levels: as a profoundly telling vivisection of Middle Eastern society, a chilling history of ethnic crimes, a picaresque adventure story, a purely entertaining travelogue, and a poignant romance.

Tewdwr Moss, a brilliant young writer who was murdered in London the day after he finished this book, left this lyrical gem as his legacy. He adeptly captures an essence of the Middle East that is foreign to most of us, but which becomes real with his astute observations of the region's culture and explosive politics. He conveys what so many westerners find both fascinating and frightening in the Middle East, making no attempt to mask circumstances that are appalling and dangerous while also exotic, beautiful, and sometimes very funny.

Mesopotamia, now present-day Syria, was part of Mark Anthony's love gift to Cleopatra. Then and now, it is a land of mystery and love.


Robert Tewdwr Moss (1961–1996) was a journalist of astonishing versatility. He first made his mark as Diary Editor of the books section of the London Sunday Times. He also contributed to magazines as varied as Tatler, Women's Journal, Harper's, Queen, and Africa Events.

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cover image of the Moss book shows a young man gazing at the desert

September 2003
LC: 2003050103 DS
252 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

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Cloth $24.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-19290-7
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"This is not a dutiful . . . examination of a country, but it is a well-informed guide to a larger interior landscape."
—James Owen, Literary Review


2001, Duckworth Press

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