In the spirit of T.E. Lawrence, Wilfred Thesiger spent five years wandering the deserts of Arabia, producing Arabian Sands, ‘a memorial to a. Arabian Sands is Wilfred Thesiger’s record of his extraordinary journey through the parched “Empty Quarter” of Arabia. Educated at Eton and. THESIGER, Sir Wilfred Patrick. Arabian Sands. London: Spottiswoode, Ballantyne and Co Ltd for Longmans, Green and Co Ltd,

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After the war he joined the anti-locust unit of the Food and Agriculture Organizationtaking eands chance between and to travel in the Empty Quarter of Arabia.

Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger

To these tribesmen security can be bought too dearly by loss of individual freedom. While I’m reluctant to share my conclusions in this review, I’ve never read anything more enlightening. I’ve always loved travel writing, it began with Colin Thubron’s “Beyond the Wall” about China, he was a fabulous writer, and he put into words what I had felt during a visit in There was the occasional remark about the color of the dunes, and a some attempts at describing camels, the all-important ships of the desert.

I believe only St Exupery surpasses him when it comes to the spiritual joy the desert awakens in the a man who finds himself hundreds of miles away from the nearest inhabited land.

Arabian Sands

I will get back to this. A week after reading this book, I still remember the great pleasure it gave me whenever I sat down to eat or drink something. He knew when he left he would not return.

Published March 5th by Penguin first published thesigfr Through his journey, documents a way of life which no longer exists, at a time when the Bedouins were fast disappearing with the discovery of oil in the Middle East, bringing with it the modern conveniences which arrive with this discovery of black gold.

I would encourage any reader who wants to really understand the culture of the Gulf Arabs, the importance of religion, of traditions and of family ties to pick up the book and read it before applying the usual labels of religious fanaticism and blind hatred.


At a time when one journey was ending and another beginning.

After some initial forays in Africa, he moves on to explore the Empty Quarter. Thesiger has written a fascinating account of a landscape and culture of a people that is long gone. Illustrated with black and white photos. I like to browse through my books on a Sunday morning for some strange reason and came across this book that I read bby I was working in Saudi Arabia and, as I had also met the bedouin and taken tea with them, Wands was interested to hear about Thesiger’s travels in that country.

Jan 21, Bill Hammack rated it it was amazing. I was somewhat uncomfortable with a couple of aspects of Thesiger’s views, one being his Eurocentric bias. I shall always remember how often I was humbled by those illiterate herdsmen who possessed, in so much greater measure than I, generosity and courage, endurance, patience, and lighthearted gallantry.

He sees in them uncompromising strength, valor and dedication to friends. At first she refused to give us any, although her calf had already been weaned, but Amai sewed up her anus, saying he would not undo it until she let down her milk. The writing is exceptionally beautiful, the descriptions of the dunes and mountains, the plants and the animals.

He is merely the first among equals in a society where every man is intensely independent and quick to resent any hint of autocracy. Black and white photographic illustrations, signed on the title page by the author. Thesiger isn’t a wordsmith, but he sure can wax lyrical about sand and camels.

Sir Wilfred Thesiger: Arabian Sands, 1959. £195

Then began to wonder what was going on behind the narrative: For starters, Thesiger devoted little energy to visually describing things. I couldn’t see it on Kindle but Penguin issued it in paperback as part of their Penguin classics series in I;ve been to one of them myself on a day trip by car: He observed how the Bedouin took better care of the camels than they did of themselves.


Thesiger’s autobiography The Life of my Choice puts his journey in the context of his life – it is worth remembering that between trips to thesigerr Empty Quarter he was also sending time in the Kurdish regions and in the marshes of southern Iraq.

James Cummins Bookseller Published: A book for wilfrev truly interested in the deserts, but expect Thesi Superb read. There is a rare wartime photograph of Thesiger in this period. This, and a dozen similar stories in the book, seemed not cause Thesiger any dismay, and certainly didn’t influence his perception of the people.

An excellent example in a near fine dust jacket with some rubbing to the extremities. Coming from a privileged Br It was at school that we were given an excerpt of Arabian Sands to read, a passage detailing the peoples who had lurked on the fringes of Arabia Felix without actually controlling it, coming across the book at the town library I borrowed it and read on.

Sir Wilfred Thesiger: Arabian Sands, £ · Type & Forme

Wilfred Thesiger was wonderful company as I rolled along on a camel beside him, not literally of course, taking in the sights of a desert that has long since been tarnished raabian the west.

Despite my discomfort with some of his writings, the book was well worth reading to learn about both the people and the geography of the region.

On Arab governance, Thesiger writes: Clean and tight in original binding of blue cloth and light blue boards in bright dustjacket price-clipped now in mylar cover. He is one of the first to admit that their culture is a violent one, that their temperament is fiery and suspicious of strangers, that they are prideful, quick to anger and unforgiving to their enemies.