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Wanderings in Arabia

Charles M. Doughty

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Wanderings in Arabia is an abridgement of Charles M. Doughty’s masterwork, Travels in Arabia Deserta, which has been hailed as the finest travel account in the English language.

It is the first book to be written, in any language, about wide tracts of the Arabian Penisula. Out of his remote and lonely wanderings, Doughty fashioned a lyrical evocation of the desert and the peoples who inhabit this mysterious world.

In the estimation of fellow explorer Benedict Allen: ‘The book, which brims with lively observations of human character, opened European eyes to the Arabian desert – not least Gertrude Bell, and later Wilfred Thesiger, who were profoundly influenced by it’.

The great Arabist, T. E. Lawrence also enthused about Doughty’s achievement: ‘The book had no date and can never grow old. It is the first and indispensable work upon the Arabs of the desert’.

For Jan Morris, the book is ‘entirely unique … Whether for the strange beauty of its language, its record of a tremendous adventure, or its accurate evocation of a landscape and a civilisation, Travels in Arabia Deserta is truly one of a kind’.

Charles M.Doughty

Charles Montagu Doughty – Arabist, writer and poet – was born in 1843 in Suffolk to a parson’s family. Of frail health, he seemed unlikely material for a desert explorer. On leaving university, he travelled to Damascus where he learned Arabic before joining a pilgrim caravan heading south for Mecca in 1876. He then endured two hard years of poverty…

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Charles M.Doughty