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29 October 2014
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NILE - the first title in a new series from BBC BooksNILE is the first title in a new series from BBC Books that explore the history and natural history of the world's greatest rivers. NILE is published on 4 March 2004 and accompanies the major new BBC TWO series of the same name.

Written by the producers of the series, NILE reveals the true story of the River Nile.

  • Starting with an exploration of one of the world's greatest civilisations: ancient Egypt.
  • We then take a modern journey upstream to where the river splits into its two main arms: the White Nile and the Blue Nile.
  • Along the way, we discover spectacles like the Blue Nile gorge - Africa's Grand Canyon - where every year the river swells to 400 times its dry-season size as it rages towards the seas thousands of miles to the north.
  • Finally, we follow in the footsteps of the great Victorian explorers - among them Burton, Speke, Stanley and Livingstone - as they raced to solve the riddle of the river's source, deep in the heart of Africa.

NILE brings to light how the ancient Egyptians never understood the floods that each year replenished the rich farming land along the river's banks. They invented a complex mythology to explain the cycles of the river, but the mystery of how the Nile came to be such a powerful, fluctuating force continued to torment people for thousands of years.

Huge natural barriers south of Egypt always restricted knowledge, but as centuries passed, explorers braved rapids, swamps, precipitous gorges, jungles, wild animals and debilitating diseases to push further and further up the river, each time bringing back new clues.

NILE includes new photography and detailed maps of one of the world's greatest natural wonders and provides an inspiration for historians, would-be-explorers and armchair travellers alike.

Published: 4 March 2004
Price: £20.00 (HB)
ISBN: 0563 487135

Notes to Editors:
Author Information
Martha Holmes, Gavin Maxwell and Tim Scoones are based at the BBC's internationally renowned Natural History Unit and are the producers of the BBC TWO series, Nile.

Martha Holmes joined the NHU in 1988. Since then she has worked on several projects, including the Sea Trek series, for which she wrote the accompanying BBC book. She has also filmed in Antarctica for Sir David Attenborough's Life in the Freezer and produced Wildlife Special: Polar Bear. More recently, Martha was a producer on the award-winning The Blue Planet series and was one of the authors of the best-selling The Blue Planet book.

Gavin Maxwell was a director on the innovative Eyewitness television series before joining the NHU as an assistant producer on Wildlife Special: Crocodile. He has recently worked as a director and producer on Predators, Venom and Animals - The Inside Story.

Tim Scoones worked at Oxford Scientific Films for eight years on a variety of science and wildlife documentaries for National Geographic Television and Horizon. Since joining the NHU he has produced films for the highly acclaimed series Andes to Amazon and Animals - The Inside Story.

Additional Information
Following NILE, the second title in BBC Books' series exploring the history and natural history of the world's greatest rivers will be YANGTZE, to be published in September 2004.



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