Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox For Sale
Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox
Finlay, Victoria
Click to view details

Ibn Battutah (Edited by Tim Mackintosh-Smith) - The Travels of Ibn Battutah - ( Item 134933 )

Published in London by Folio Society. 2012. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Edited by Tim Mackintosh-Smith. Introduced by Tahir Shah. Translated by Hamilton Gibb and C. F. Beckingham. Bound in blocked buckram. Set in Aldus. 384 pages with frontispiece. 24 pages of colour plates. Book size:10" 6". In 1325, a young Moroccan law student set out from his home in Tangier to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. Having completed the hajj, Ibn Battutah continued onwards for an astonishing 75,000 miles on foot, by camel, mule, horse, junk and raft the longest-ever journey accomplished by an individual traveller until the modern age. His travels, much more extensive than Marco Polo's, reflect the widespread nature of Islamic civilisation: Ibn Battutah found familiar hospitality in Syria, Iraq, Asia Minor, Afghanistan, India, Sri Lanka and Somalia, among other places. After 29 years, he returned home and completed his Rihlah, or Travels: a narrative that made him the greatest travel writer of the Islamic world. Ibn Battutah is a keen observer of different peoples and customs. He notes that Meccans 'paint their eyes with kohl, and are constantly polishing their teeth with twigs of green arak-wood'. He describes the social security system in Damascus; a fallen meteor in Turkey; and Hindu widows burning themselves alive in north-west India (a sight so frightful that he faints and nearly falls off his horse). In Delhi, he befriends the Sultan, a generous and hospitable figure who nonetheless is capable of executing 350 men at a time. He travels as far as the Maldives, where he is scandalised by the half-naked women, and China 'the safest and best country for the traveller'. After retracing his steps from the Far East, he makes a final detour down through North Africa to Mali, where the houses and mosques are built of blocks of salt and people cover themselves in dust before the King. Lively, opinionated and full of idiosyncratic details, his Travels paints a fascinating portrait of medieval civilisation beyond Europe. Tim Mackintosh-Smith is an Arabist, traveller and writer, now residing in Yemen, and one of the foremost authorities on Ibn Battutah. His abridgement of Ibn Battutah's gigantic narrative is a major achievement in itself. Tahir Shah, a writer and film-maker who has travelled in the footsteps of Ibn Battutah, has written a new introduction for this edition.

Price 41.75 (inc UK postage)                 Other items you may like                 Others by the same author

To buy this item online using any major credit or debit card or Paypal, click the appropriate delivery option below to add the item to your basket, depending on where you are in the world. Alternatively please contact us at for further information or to order with payment by direct bank transfer or cheque if you are in the UK.

**** To avoid disappointment and inconvenience, please ensure that your Paypal basket is empty before beginning a new order; our stock is updated multiple times per day, and any items left in your cart for more than an hour or so may already have been sold. ****

**** We regret that we can no longer export to the EU due to slow and lost deliveries, and excessive and unpredictable charges since Brexit ****

Safe and Secure Online Buying

To buy online, please click the appropriate postage option in the item boxes above. You will be transferred to secure pages hosted by Paypal, the largest online transaction processor in the world. You can pay with any major credit or debit card or by Paypal. When ordering multiple items in the UK, you may be entitled to a postage discount. This will be refunded when your order is received. If you prefer to pay by cheque, or would like a quotation for buying multiple items, please email us at with the unique item numbers required.

Money Back Guarantee, Secure Packaging and Fast Response

We are a major online trader with excellent feedback from satisfied customers on Amazon and Ebay (over 25,000 customers). We will refund your costs for items returned within seven days for any reason. If we are at fault we will also refund your return postage. Items are sent in top grade book boxes for protection. Large items or multiple purchases may be boxed. Items will be despatched within a day of receipt of your order, usually on the same day if ordered before noon.

[Back to top]

Useful Links

Home Page
Contact Us


Terms and conditions
Delivery information
About Ardis Books


Returns policy
Cancellation policy


Customer services
Email Ardis Books
What our customers say