Literature

A Modern Pilgrim in Mecca and a Siege in Sanaa

John Byng Wavell, Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing, 2005. 349 pages.

It should be noted that the trespassing English pilgrim Arthur Wavell is definitely not postmodern; his “modern” account of a trip in disguise to Makkah and Madinah was originally published in 1912. The author revels in explaining how he pulled off the role of a Zanzibar Muslim on hajj, as though he is presenting a how-to guide for fellow swashbucklers. Previously, he had carried out intelligence work for the British Army in South Africa and, in 1906, settled on a farm near Mombasa, where he learned Arabic and met Muslims. He died at the young age of thirty-four while fighting in East Africa.

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