Mabel Bent's diaries of 1883-1898, from the archive of the Joint Library of the Hellenic and Roman Societies, London. Paperback. xxxi+425 pages, with maps and illustrations. Edited and with additional material by Gerald Brisch. 3rdguides 46 2010 3rdGuides - Archaeopress Travel 6. ISBN 9781905739134. |
“If my fellow-traveller had lived, he intended to have put together in book form such information as we had gathered about Southern Arabia. Now, as he died four days after our return from our last journey there, I have had to undertake the task myself. It has been very sad to me, but I have been helped by knowing that, however imperfect this book may be, what is written here will surely be a help to those who, by following in our footsteps, will be able to get beyond them, and to whom I so heartily wish success and a Happy Home-coming, the best wish a traveller may have.”
So Mabel Bent (Mrs J. Theodore Bent) begins her Preface to Southern Arabia, one of the classic travel books written in English about this ever-fascinating region, in which she details the couple’s travels over a ten-year period. A testimony to the book’s high regard is that, since publication in 1900, it has rarely been out-of-print.
Mabel Bent continues in her Preface to inform the reader that her volume is drawn in part from the note-books of her husband, her fellow-traveller, the redoubtable J. Theodore Bent (1852-97), and also “…from the ‘Chronicles’ that I always wrote during our journeys”.
After more than a hundred years, and for the first time, these personal Chronicles on ‘South Arabia’ are published in World Enough, and Time: The Chronicles of Mabel Bent. Vol. III and are of significant interest to Arabists and those enthusiasts who will want to have Mabel’s on-the-spot account of their adventures and archaeological and ethnographical discoveries. Also included in this present volume is Mabel Bent’s previously unpublished Chronicle of their long journey through Persia, from south to north in 1889.
Contents: Bahrein and Persia, 1889: The Hadhramaut, 1893–5; Socotra and the lands of the Fadhli and Yafai, 1896–7. Personal letters, documents, maps, and Mabel Bent’s own photographs contribute to this important insight into the lives of two of the great British travellers of the nineteenth century.
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