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Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua 1893-1956 Paperback – December 31, 2004


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Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua 1893-1956 + Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood + The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Eland Books (December 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0907871143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0907871149
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Contains may superb color photographs that enhance Maxwell's lively narrative." --"Library Journal"

About the Author

Gavin Maxwell was born in 1914, educated at Stowe and Oxford and served in the Scots Guard during the Second World War. Invalided out in 1944 he bought the Island of Soay and set up his Basking Shark fishery there - the subject of his first book, Harpoon at a Venture, (1952). Other books include A Reed Shaken by the Wind (1958), an account of the Marsh Arabs of Iraq, The House of Elrig (1956), an autobiography of his childhood, and his world famous West Highland books about otters: Ring of Bright Water (1960), The Rocks Remain (1963) and Raven Seek Thy Brother (1969). He died in 1969.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
The fact that the first half of this book draws extensively and almost exclusively from the work of Harris, should in no way detract from the achievement of Maxwell. He has presented a very complex period of history, in an accessible and entertaining format. At times it is necessary to remind yourself that not only is this a true story, but that most of the events portrayed took place this century. It is a fantastic account of the power behind the French Protectorate, and a reminder that politics has always been a filthy business. Anyone planning a visit, or who has been to Morocco, especially the Glaoui kasbahs of the High Atlas, should read this book, as should fans of bloody, political intrigue.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliantly crafted with a wealth of information, Gavin Maxwell obviously did his homework and it shows. It was a delight to read although occasionally I found myself mystified by the thought that such barbaric and frankly extreme behaviour as described could have happened in such a beautiful and friendly country as the Morocco I know. But then again, that's what makes the book so interesting. The corrupting influence of wealth and power is a twice-told tale all too familiar. A "must read" for anyone with a genuine interest in history as well as the subtle and sometimes bewildering nuance of culture, customs and tradition. If the author was hoping to engender some sympathy for T’hami he failed with me. I thought that he was a despicable individual although no doubt blessed with that thin veneer of personal charm so typical of the type.
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By Derek Dewees on February 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had the good fortune of having the illustrator as a tour guide in Marrakesh. The book and its illustrations capture this part of the world wonderfully
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gogol on June 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because it was one of those books that have achieved almost legendary status. It was banned in Morocco under the previous king because apparently its disparaging comments about the Royal family. Anyone who had any interest in the Middle East over the past 20 years would have at least heard of it so I was looking forward to a compelling read about the rise and fall of the Pashas of Marrakesh and the Altas.

What I found was a confusing jumble of fact, fiction and travellers accounts verified by nobody. The biography at the rear of the book gives no real clue to Maxwell his motives behind the book or what research (If any) He bothered to take other than this is apparently some peak in orientalist writing. What you do find is that although he spent some time in Iraq with a local guide he never set foot in Morocco until 1966. Something which makes the book all the more confusing as he writes of first hand experiences he apparently had in the early 1900s! I did a bit more digging and found it to be largely based on the book "Morocco that was" Maxwell even talks as though he is having conversation with that author. Maxwell tells us tales of brutality and mass murder to the extent you would be surprised that there still exists a population in Morocco. Everyone appears to be motivated by sexual pleasure, gold and prostitution. Its badly researched badly put together and is so muddled by half way through the book I ended up having to revert to the book by Nasr (History of the Maghrib) To actually make any sense of it! The last few pages where Maxwell informs us that prostitution has no stigma in Morocco, they are welcome into the homes of a newly married girl and seen as a good omen there.
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By Consumer Sam on October 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazing reading.
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