Like Herodotus, who travelled on the northern coast of Africa over 2,000 years ago, Mr Carrington is an excellent observer and a man of insatiable curiosity. This account of a recent journey from Tunis to Egypt takes in many towns, ancient and modern- Carthage, Kairouan, Sousse, Sfax, Gabes, Tripoli, Leptis Magna. Benghazi, Cyrene, Alexandria. In the author’s agreeable company. We visit the troglodytes of Matmata and the former palace of Farouk, the home of the Lotus-Eaters and the Lake of Lethe. We learn about Roman mosaics and modern missionaries, about North African medicine, education and cooking, Arab folk tales, war cemeteries, catacombs, plant-life, pottery, carpet-weaving, sponge-fishing, camels and locusts. Fascinating questions are asked and answered-why is the Sahara all sand? Why have so many Roman statues got broken noses? The palm-tree that died of love, the pin-up girls in the cathedral porch, the amazing story of Sergeant-Major Pledge-these are a few of the many diversions Mr Carrington gives us on the way.