“It is near sunset at the Transatlantique s.s. ‘Ville de Madrid’ leaves the splendid harbour of Marseilles on Friday 17th March 1893…”
George E. Thompson sets out for Tripoli, carrying with his medicines, a large bottle of insect powder and a number of erroneous ideas formed from his reading of accounts of the region – accounts vastly inferior to the one with which he was ultimately to present us.
It is to the eternal credit of Thompson that he was able to challenge such ideas. ‘Anyone who has trodden ordinary beaten tracks of the tourists, and who like Alexander- sighs for more worlds to conquer, will meet with a phase of life that is new to his among the palm trees and Arabs of Tripoli in Barbary.’
In Life in Tripoli that world is brought beautifully into focus.