Wilfred Thesiger is one of the great explorers of this century. However, he is unique in that, unlike any of the other great travellers and writers of the past - T.E. Lawrence, Doughty, Burton and Livingstone - he had the opportunity, and developed the skill, to take photographs which do more than complement his achievements. While he has wondered at the landscapes, the buildings and the animals of so many distant places, and held them unforgettably in his lens, it is the people and their daily life which are paramount in this recollection of times past. This is partly because Thesiger has always found the greatest reward, not in remoteness for its own sake, but in the companionship he found there. It is also true because the assembly of portraits is unrepeatable - quite simply the way in which people lived, moved and had their being has irrevocably vanished. The last 50 years has destroyed forever the inheritance of the previous 500. From the many thousands of photographs taken over 50 years - with a Leica camera, protected from sand, frost or the miasma of the marshes in its goat-skin bag - Thesiger has chosen for this book those photographs which most satisfy him. Here are some rarely seen images from his Asian travels, images of Africa where he has now lived for almost 25 years, a mixture of familiar and unknown pictures of the Arab world in which he found himself most at home. Wilfred Thesiger is the author of "Arabian Sands", "The Marsh Arabs" and "The Life of My Choice".
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In this lavishly illustrated book, Wilfred Thesiger recreates a lifetime's journeying in some of the world's least-known places.
His is a romantic but austere vision, redeemed by the companionship of peoples who accepted hardship with fierce pride. Five years with the Bedu, just before oil transformed them, placed the author in the front rank of British Arabists.
Later he lived, as no Westerner had lived, in the strange world of the Marshmen of Iraq.
Here, also, are memorable accounts of his travels in Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran, the Yemen in time of Civil War, and the mountain country of the Hindu Kush and the Karakorams.
Thesiger's world is tragically contracting, and societies are crumbling at the intrusion of the West. Only just in time to see and share the harsh nomadic life he so admires, he draws a poignant picture of its strength and beauty in fine prose, and unforgettable photographs.
"A most beautiful and memorable book, capturing the last possible moment of a way of life."
DAVID PRYCE JONES, 'The Times'
"A declaration of faith that goes a long way to explaining the 'strange compulsion' that drives men to seek, and find, the consolation of the desert… his descriptions of raids, bloodfeuds and reconciliations give his prose the character of an ancient epic or saga… braking into images of great beauty."
BRUCE CHATWIN, 'London Review of Books'
"His sensual delight in the harsh world of the nomad is apparent in his exquisite photography, hardly less than in his record of lasting friendships with people of the wilderness."
JAN MORRIS, 'Daily Telegraph'
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110002553260