It is a great sadness that Robin
Bidwell did not live to see his book reprinted in paperback, the BYS has lost an old
friend and valued member who will be much missed.
The book, first published in 1976, is a chronology of European
travellers in Arabia from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the 1950s. It looks at
travellers themselves, their motives and eccentricities as well as
their contributions to science or their outrageous and unlikely tales. These vignettes are
set in a clear and well written historical framework and the whole has a nice lightness of
touch, a combination of erudition, sympathy and irreverence.
Robin wrote in his introduction that he had written this mainly to
please himself and hoped that his enjoyment would be communicated to others. It is.
JAMES NASH, November 1994