Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger


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Readers Union/Longmans, Green & Co, 1960. First edition 1960. 270 pages. 36 b/w photo illustrations, 8 b/w maps.

'In the spirit of T.E. Lawrence, Wilfred Thesiger spent five years wandering the deserts of Arabia, producing Arabian Sands, 'a memorial to a vanished past, a tribute to a once magnificent people'. 

Wilfred Thesiger, repulsed by what he saw as the softness and rigidity of Western life; 'the machines, the calling cards, the meticulously aligned streets', spent years exploring in and around the vast, waterless desert that is the 'Empty Quarter' of Arabia. Travelling amongst the Bedu people, he experienced their everyday challenges of hunger and thirst, the trials of long marches beneath the relentless sun, the bitterly cold nights and the constant danger of death if it was discovered he was a Christian 'infidel'. He was the first European to visit most of the region, and just before he left the area the process that would change it forever had begun, the discovery of oil.
His now 'classic account' is invaluable to understanding the modern Middle East.'