Wilfred Thesiger’s classic account of the eight years he spent living with the tribespeople of the Marshes of Iraq.
First published in 1964 to great acclaim, this book by one of the century’s greatest explorers describes a way of life which lasted for thousands of years, but has now all but vanished.
Travelling with his medicine boxes and his teams of canoemen around the junction between the Tigris and the Euphrates, Thesiger visited nearly every village in the Central Marshes and came to know intimately the people who inhabit this landscape of islands, lakes and waterways, living with them in their reed houses and sharing their unique way of life. He beautifully evokes the landscape and its teeming wildlife and vividly brings to life the many friends he made among the Marsh Arabs. His extraordinary photographs provide a stunning record of the last remnants of a people and their culture.
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Praise for The Marsh Arabs:
H.D. Ziman, Daily Telegraph
‘Here is the fascination of a stange land and the power to convey it.’
Praise for Among the Mountains:
‘A matchless portrait of a vanished world’
‘Here is true grandeur in the landscape and true dignity in the man’
‘The photographs alone make it worth a place on the traveller’s bookshelf’
Wilfred Thesiger lived among the Marsh Arabs for eight years, sharing a threatened way of life which had lasted for millennia.
There was hardly a village in the Central Marshes – an area covering some 6000 square miles around the junction of the Tigris an the Euphrates – which Thesiger did not visit, however small. This is a landscape of islands, some fo them floating, many of them man-made; of lakes and waterways; where the reed houses are of a unique an impressive architecture; where the economy of the inhabitants is based largely on their herds of water buffalo. They fish, shoot wildfowl and hunt the enormous and dangerous wild pigs that ravage their crops. Travelling from village to village with his medicine boxes and his team of canoemen, Wilfred Thesiger came to know these people and their way of life intimately.
There are times of excitement and hardship, accidents, blood feuds, there are episodes of tragedy and happiness and moments of pure comedy. Not only does Thesiger evoke with great beauty the landscape and its teeming wildlife, but he brings to vivid life the friends he made among the Marsh arabs – the sheikhs, his canoemen and their families. Few travel books have described an area and its inhabitants with such knowledge or such evident sympathy.
H.D. ZIMAN, 'The Daily Telegraph'
"Here is the fascination of a strange land and the power to convey it."
"The greatest of living explorers."
RAYMOND MORTIMER, 'Sunday Times'
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Book Description Penguin UK, 1983. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140095128