Wilfred Thesiger is the last of the great British eccentric explorers, renowned for his travels through some of the most inaccessible places on earth. As a child in Abyssinia he watched the glorious armies of Ras Tafari returning from hand-to-hand battle, their prisoners in chains; at the age of 23 he made his first expedition into the country of ...
Wilfred Thesiger is the last of the great British eccentric explorers, renowned for his travels through some of the most inaccessible places on earth. As a child in Abyssinia he watched the glorious armies of Ras Tafari returning from hand-to-hand battle, their prisoners in chains; at the age of 23 he made his first expedition into the country of the Danakil, a murderous race among whom a man's status in the tribe depended on the number of men he had killed and castrated. His books, "Arabian Sands" and "The Marsh Arabs", tell of his two sojourns in the Empty Quarter and the Marshes of Southern Iraq. In this autobiography, Wilfred Thesiger highlights the people who most profoundly influenced him and the events which enabled him to lead the life of his choice.
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living the life of others, being immersed in their culture; This man was present when Haillie Salassie was made emporer in Ethyopia, Abyssinia when he was born there. Following in the footsteps of the historical Laurence of Arabia, anyone who lived in East Africa or has been interested in Arabian culture will find this absorbing and difficult to put down.
Publishers Weekly, 1988-02-19 Perhaps the last of the great romantic gentleman-explorers, Thesiger, author of Arabian Sands and The Marsh Arabs, here looks back on an extraordinary life. He was born in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) to British diplomatic parents who were friends of Emperor Haile Selassie. Thesiger remembers Addis Ababa, the capital, as a village with grass huts, no roads and colorful ceremonies. He attended Eton and Oxford, then returned to Africa for the first of many journeys, exploring the Awash River (home to the dreaded Danakil, whose warriors killed randomly to prove their manhood and collected their victims' genitals for trophies). As a district officer in the Sudan Political Service, Thesiger had further opportunities to travel in desert lands and meet nomadic tribes. During World War II, he served with Orde Wingate's troops, liberating Abyssinia from the Italians; later, he fought behind the lines in the Western Desert. In addition to superb adventure, Thesiger gives a fine portrait of the waning days of the British Empire in the Sudan and of the last revolution in Ethiopia. Photos. (March)
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