Travels with a Tangerine: A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah

Travels with a Tangerine: A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah

by Tim Mackintosh-Smith, Martin Yeoman
     
 
Ibn Battutah, the best traveler of the pre-mechanical age, set out in 1325 from his native Tangiers on the pilgrimage to Mecca. Arabic scholar and award-winning travel writer Tim Mackintosh-Smith retraces the first stage of the Moroccan's eccentric journey, from Tangiers to Constantinople, traveling both in Ibn Battutah's footsteps and in the footnotes of his text.

Overview

Ibn Battutah, the best traveler of the pre-mechanical age, set out in 1325 from his native Tangiers on the pilgrimage to Mecca. Arabic scholar and award-winning travel writer Tim Mackintosh-Smith retraces the first stage of the Moroccan's eccentric journey, from Tangiers to Constantinople, traveling both in Ibn Battutah's footsteps and in the footnotes of his text.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The author (Yemen: The Unknown Arabia), a British Arabist who has lived in Yemen for the past 17 years, traces the footsteps of an extraordinary, but relatively unknown, medieval explorer. Ibn Battutah (1304-1368) grew up in Tangier within an educated family. At the age of 21, he embarked on a pilgrimage to Mecca and spent the next 30 years traveling throughout the Middle and Far East. When Mackintosh-Smith happened on a translated version of Battutah's travels, he was hooked and decided to make the same journey. This volume covers only the first part of Battutah's path, from Tangier to Constantinople, but has enough excitement, exotic details and information to satisfy the most exacting armchair traveler. The author brings his research skills, scholarship and respect for all cultures to bear on Battutah's adventures and his own. Written with humor and style, he describes how Battutah "schmoozed with sultans" in Denizli, Turkey. In Damascus, the author enjoys a brain burger for breakfast before visiting the Umayyad Mosque, a structure Battutah detailed in 10 pages and referred to as "the greatest Mosque on earth." Throughout this narrative, Mackintosh-Smith provides enough anecdotes about Battutah's knowledge of aphrodisiacs, the foods he ate, the hardships he endured, the people he met and, most tellingly, the wonders he beheld to bring this unique daredevil and his times to life. B&w illus. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In 1325, great Moroccan traveler Ibn Battutah set out on a 29-year pilgrimage from his native Tangiers to Mecca. In this studious and charming account, Arabic scholar Mackintosh-Smith, Thomas Cook Travel Book Award winner for Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land, attempts to retrace Ibn Battutah's route on the first stage of his legendary journey, cutting a wide swath from Tangiers to Constantinople via Egypt, Syria, Oman, Anatolia, and the Crimea. Mecca, which is verboten to the non-Muslim author, is not included. Mackintosh-Smith writes with a delectable wit, offering a fascinating glimpse into both the present-day and 14th-century Islamic worlds. He makes his experiences intelligible to the Western reader with numerous allusions, e.g., "Ibn Battutah was born not just in a medieval Age of Aquarius, but in its California." This captivating travel narrative may spur readers to tackle the original travels of Ibn Battutah. Recommended for all collections. Ravi Shenoy, Naperville P.L., IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566492478
Publisher:
Welcome Rain Publishers
Publication date:
06/11/2002
Pages:
351
Product dimensions:
6.64(w) x 9.80(h) x 1.23(d)

Meet the Author

Tim Mackintosh-Smith's first book, Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land, won the 1998 Thomas Cook/Daily Telegraph Travel Book Award and is now regarded as a classic of Arabian description. His two books on Ibn Battutah's adventures in the old Islamic world and in India, Travels with a Tangerine and The Hall of a Thousand Columns, were received to huge critical acclaim. His journeys in search of Ibn Battutah have also been turned into a major BBC television series that has fascinated viewers round the globe. For the past twenty-five years his home has been the Yemeni capital San'a, where he lives in a tower-house on top of the ancient Sabaean city and next door to the modern donkey market.

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