Bayle St. John

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Bayle St. John (1822–1859)[1] was a British travel writer and biographer, one of the four sons of James Augustus St. John, who went on to become journalists and authors of some literary distinction. Bayle St. John began contributing to periodicals when only thirteen, and when twenty he wrote a series of papers for Fraser under the title De re vehiculari, or a Comic History of Chariots. To the same magazine he contributed a series of essays on Montaigne, and in 1857 he published Montaigne the Essayist, a Biography, in four volumes.

During a residence of two years in Egypt he wrote The Libyan Desert (1849), and while in Egypt he learnt Arabic and visited the oasis of Siwa. On his return he settled for some time in Paris and published Two Years in a Levantine Family (1850) and Views in the Oasis of Siwah (1850). After a second visit to the East he published Village Life in Egypt (1852); Purple Tints of Paris; Characters and Manners in the New Empire (1854); The Louvre, or Biography of a Museum (1855); The Subalpine Kingdom, or Experiences and Studies in Savoy (1856); Travels of an Arab Merchant in the Soudan (1854); Maretimo, a Story of Adventure (1856); and Memoirs of the Duke of Saint-Simon in the Reign of Louis XIV (four vols., 1857).

He died in 1859, leaving a widow and two sons, and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.[2]


  1. ^ Date of birth and death at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ A biography at Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.

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