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Episode 21: A Bookshelf in Tripoli

Justin Marozzi, a travel writer, historian and journalist who’s lived in Somalia, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Darfur, joins the Slightly Foxed editors on a journey through North Africa and the Middle East. His discovery of a nineteenth-century account of an expedition to Libya in a bookshop in Tripoli led to his crossing of the Sahara by camel, against the advice of Wilfred Thesiger. From dual chronicles of the desert penned by Rosita Forbes and Ahmed Hassanein Bey and tales of books hurled into the Tigris to the picaresque life of Ibn Battutah and travels with a Tangerine, the conversation ranges far and wide, and there are the usual recommendations for reading off the beaten track too.

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Show Notes

Please find links to books, articles, and further reading listed below. The digits in brackets following each listing refer to the minute and second they are mentioned. (Episode duration: 40 minutes; 22 seconds)

Books Mentioned

We may be able to get hold of second-hand copies of the out-of-print titles listed below. Please get in touch with Anna in the Slightly Foxed office for more information.

South from Barbary, Justin Marozzi (3:09)

The Secret of the Sahara, Rosita Forbes is out of print (7:08)

The Lost Oases, Ahmed Hassanein Bey is out of print (7:46)

The Travels of Ibn Battutah, ed. Tim Mackintosh-Smith (11:57) 

Travels with a Tangerine, The Hall of a Thousand Columns and Landfalls, Tim Mackintosh-Smith  (12:03)

Arabs, Tim Mackintosh-Smith (12:26) 

– Tamerlane, Justin Marozzi (14:20) 

Warriors, Gerald Hanley (15:43)

Islamic Empires, Justin Marozzi (20:11) 

Kim, Rudyard Kipling (25:40)

The Great Game, Peter Hopkirk (33:37) 

Consolations of the Forest, Sylvain Tessant (36:09) 

The Invention of Nature, Andrea Wulf (37:15)

Related Slightly Foxed Articles

Not Your Average Englishwoman, Justin Marozzi on Rosita Forbes, The Secret of the Sahara in Issue 62 (7:08)

An Irishman in Somalia, Justin Marozzi on Gerald Hanley, Warriors (15:43)

Small Player in the Great Game, Amanda Theunissen on Rudyard Kipling, Kim in Issue 57 (25:40)

Confessions of a TV Tie-in, Tim Mackintosh Smith on Ibn Battutah, The Travels of Ibn Battutah in Issue 18 (11:57)

Other Links

Justin Marozzi: www.justinmarozzi.com

Opening music: Preludio from Violin Partita No.3 in E Major by Bach
The Slightly Foxed Podcast is hosted by Philippa Lamb and produced by Podcastable



Comments & Reviews

Leave a comment

  1. Tammy says:

    Your podcast is a calm oasis in this pandemic desert! You add elegance and grace to an insane world. Thank you!

  2. Miranda Morris says:

    What a splendid episode, deeply interesting and adventurous and a wonderfully expanded world – geographical, chronological and conceptual. Thank you so much.

  3. Stuart Baines says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Justin Marozzi podcast. At a time when travel is curtailed it is very beneficial to hear travellers’ tales, especially from areas mainly inaccessible to the general tourist. Many thanks for a delightful forty minutes!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Just returned to Slightly Foxed and celebrated by listening to podcast 21 as my weakness (?) is travel writing. So glad to hear the comments on Kim. I too have loved it, sometimes embarrassingly/secretly, since a grey-skyed childhood in Scotland, longing for that freedom, colour, rich gamut of people and ability to be at one with all the folk you meet. I’m sure it influenced my choice of study, languages, and a lifelong interest in India – any SF William Dalrymple? Thank you

  5. Chriss says:

    Really excellent! I really enjoyed this!

  6. Margaret Taylor says:

    Oh my goodness, I am overwhelmed by the choice of marvelous reading matter! Thank you for providing such rich and interesting books and fabulous readings.

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