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Arabia Felix: The Danish Expedition of 1761-1767 (NYRB Classics)

Arabia Felix: The Danish Expedition of 1761-1767 (NYRB Classics)

"You know those trips where nothing goes right? The car breaks down, your passport gets stolen, you have a big fight with your friend, food poisoning, mugged by a pack of street kids, bit by a dog, and on and on and on. It just never ends until you're back in your own home. Those trips are hell while they're happening, but they make the best anecdotes years later. This book is like one of those trips, and it is an amazing story."  

Brad L.

See all my recommendations »

Author Thorkild Hansen
Publisher NYRB Classics
Publication Date 2017-06-13
Section Travel Lit / Adventure / All Staff Suggestions / Non-Fiction Suggestions / Brad L.
Type New
Format Paperback
ISBN 9781681370729

A riveting account of a landmark expedition that left only one survivor, now back in print for the first time in decades. Arabia Felix is the spellbinding true story of a scientific expedition gone disastrously awry. On a winter morning in 1761 six men leave Copenhagen by sea—a botanist, a philologist, an astronomer, a doctor, an artist, and their manservant—an ill-assorted band of men who dislike and distrust one another from the start. These are the members of the Danish expedition to Arabia Felix, as Yemen was then known, the first organized foray into a corner of the world unknown to Europeans. The expedition made its way to Turkey and Egypt, by which time its members were already actively seeking to undercut and even kill one another, before disappearing into the harsh desert that was their destination. Nearly seven years later a single survivor returned to Denmark to find himself forgotten and all the specimens that had been sent back ruined by neglect. Based on diaries, notebooks, and sketches that lay unread in Danish archives until the twentieth century, Arabia Felix is a tale of intellectual rivalry and a comedy of very bad manners, as well as an utterly absorbing adventure. Arabia Felix includes 33 line drawings and maps.

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