Sheba Revealed: A Posting to Bayhan in the Yemen

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9781900404310: Sheba Revealed: A Posting to Bayhan in the Yemen
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During the late 1940s, British governance of the Western Aden Protectorate was being tentatively extended by a handful of hardy officials whose reputation for incorruptibility and even-handedness went before them. Of these the young Nigel Groom was one. Posted to the almost inaccessible Wadi Bayhan in 1948, he was to spend nearly two years amongst the people of what in antiquity had been Qataban, once part of biblical Sheba.The Bayhanis and their neighbours, whose ancient, pre-Islamic lineage was evident all around in the imposing remains of cities, irrigation works and formal inscriptions, exerted a powerful fascination on the young Political Officer which has never since waned. As representative of a distant government, Groom naturally met with an ambivalent reception from the local people, many of whom lived in areas that were still uncontrolled and unadministered. His book recounts a young official's brave efforts to influence obstinate rulers and to demonstrate, to clans and tribes who for centuries had settled disputes by violence, the benefits of the rule of law. His doubts and moral dilemmas, his personal relationships, and the pitfalls of inexperience amongst the intricacies of a tribal society, are honestly described, and add depth, dramatic tension and occasional hilarity to the tale. Sheba Revealed depicts the people, customs and antiquities of this remote part of Arabia with compelling verve and candour. Its close, sympathetic and skilful observation of a single locality places it in an unusual niche among accounts of Arabian travel.And it will engage all those with an interest in pre-Islamic archaeology, colonial history, Arabian society and Yemen's transition to the world of today.

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“This is an enthralling snapshot by a young political officer of the State for which he was responsible, at a time when British policy was moving hesitantly from neglect to parsimonious involvement. ... For those interested in the first stirrings of economic and political development that finally culminated in the Federation of South Arabia ... this eloquently written and handsomely printed book is required reading.” (Bill Heber Percy British-Yemeni Society Journal 1900-01-00)

“This is a wonderful book. Literary and evocative of some of the more unusual events of lost Empire. It brims with good humour and is profusely illustrated with photographs from Groom’s personal collection, including many of the relics of ancient Sheba. What more can I say except buy it!” (Peter Hinchcliffe The Overseas Pensioner, No. 84 1900-01-00)

“The eighteen months he spent [in Bayhan], described with charm and astutness in Sheba Revealed, demonstrate his personal strengths but also the weaknesses and inconsistencies of British rule in southern Yemen.” (Sarah Searight Bulletin of the Society for Arabian Studies 2002-01-00)

“Among other fascinating opportunities, assignment to a remote corner of the Aden Protectorate enabled Mr Groom to discover ancient ruins and epigraphy. His account of his life and finds is personable and highly readable.” (Antiquity)

“Unlike so many books on Arabia, Sheba Revealed fully measures up to the publisher’s blurb. ... It is similar in purpose and a work of comparable stature [to R. A. B. Hamilton’s The Kingdom of Melchior]. Later generations will be grateful to the author for preserving ... this compelling portrait of an antique land on the threshold of change and, ultimately, of upheaval.” (St John Armitage Asian Affairs 1900-01-00)

“For this reviewer, it is the most enjoyable read about the area and the era since Harold Ingrams’ Arabia and the Isles, published 60 years before Groom’s: there can hardly be higher praise than this.” (Ivor Lucas Overseas (magazine of the Royal Overseas League), vol. 89, no. 3 1900-01-00)

“The judges were particularly delighted to read Nigel Groom’s Sheba Revealed. This is a very unusual book for this prize, as it is not an academic work but an elegant and evocative memoir recalling two years spent in the Western Aden Protectorate in 1948–50. It is a rare literary and sympathetic study of the evolutionary colonial period and has the freshness of a manuscript largely written at the time and published fifty years later. It is a great read.” (Dr Noel Brehony, Chairman of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) at the annual Kuwaiti–British Friendship Society prize-giving)

“A well-told, almost poignant, story with a trove of descriptive detail about an area and time little recorded in English (or even in Arabic). The book offers a good deal of information to students of Yemeni history, geography, and culture not available elsewhere.” (Sheila Carapico The International History Review XXVI 1900-01-00)

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Nigel Groom
Published by The London Centre of Arab Studies, United Kingdom (2002)
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Book Description The London Centre of Arab Studies, United Kingdom, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. During the late 1940s, British governance of the Western Aden Protectorate was being tentatively extended by a handful of hardy officials whose reputation for incorruptibility and even-handedness went before them. Of these the young Nigel Groom was one. Posted to the almost inaccessible Wadi Bayhan in 1948, he was to spend nearly two years amongst the people of what in antiquity had been Qataban, once part of biblical Sheba.The Bayhanis and their neighbours, whose ancient, pre-Islamic lineage was evident all around in the imposing remains of cities, irrigation works and formal inscriptions, exerted a powerful fascination on the young Political Officer which has never since waned. As representative of a distant government, Groom naturally met with an ambivalent reception from the local people, many of whom lived in areas that were still uncontrolled and unadministered. His book recounts a young official s brave efforts to influence obstinate rulers and to demonstrate, to clans and tribes who for centuries had settled disputes by violence, the benefits of the rule of law. His doubts and moral dilemmas, his personal relationships, and the pitfalls of inexperience amongst the intricacies of a tribal society, are honestly described, and add depth, dramatic tension and occasional hilarity to the tale. Sheba Revealed depicts the people, customs and antiquities of this remote part of Arabia with compelling verve and candour. Its close, sympathetic and skilful observation of a single locality places it in an unusual niche among accounts of Arabian travel.And it will engage all those with an interest in pre-Islamic archaeology, colonial history, Arabian society and Yemen s transition to the world of today. Seller Inventory # AAO9781900404310

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Nigel Groom
Published by The London Centre of Arab Studies, United Kingdom (2002)
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Book Description The London Centre of Arab Studies, United Kingdom, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. During the late 1940s, British governance of the Western Aden Protectorate was being tentatively extended by a handful of hardy officials whose reputation for incorruptibility and even-handedness went before them. Of these the young Nigel Groom was one. Posted to the almost inaccessible Wadi Bayhan in 1948, he was to spend nearly two years amongst the people of what in antiquity had been Qataban, once part of biblical Sheba.The Bayhanis and their neighbours, whose ancient, pre-Islamic lineage was evident all around in the imposing remains of cities, irrigation works and formal inscriptions, exerted a powerful fascination on the young Political Officer which has never since waned. As representative of a distant government, Groom naturally met with an ambivalent reception from the local people, many of whom lived in areas that were still uncontrolled and unadministered. His book recounts a young official s brave efforts to influence obstinate rulers and to demonstrate, to clans and tribes who for centuries had settled disputes by violence, the benefits of the rule of law. His doubts and moral dilemmas, his personal relationships, and the pitfalls of inexperience amongst the intricacies of a tribal society, are honestly described, and add depth, dramatic tension and occasional hilarity to the tale. Sheba Revealed depicts the people, customs and antiquities of this remote part of Arabia with compelling verve and candour. Its close, sympathetic and skilful observation of a single locality places it in an unusual niche among accounts of Arabian travel.And it will engage all those with an interest in pre-Islamic archaeology, colonial history, Arabian society and Yemen s transition to the world of today. Seller Inventory # AAO9781900404310

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Book Description London Ctr of Arab Studies, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: Brand New. 32 pages. 9.25x6.25x1.50 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # __1900404311

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Book Description Arabian Publishing Ltd., 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111900404311

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Book Description Arabian Publishing, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1900404311

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