Two brothers living in a fortress in the Atlas each overthrew a Moroccan Sultan and put their own man in his place.
The story peters out in the 1950s, we don't discover what happened to the family in the end. Maybe Gavin Maxwell (later much more famous as the Otter-lover in "Ring of Bright Water") knew a lot more and wasn't ready to put pen to paper.while certain people were still alive. He was shown round the castle when it was nearly deserted, but within a few years of the dungeons still holding captives.
"Dear neighbour" says one of the Glawi brothers, recipient of an ostentatiously valuable gift delivered by the neighbour's heir "Your son will never see the light of day again".
This account of the Glaoua brothers' role under French-controlled Morocco lives up to Maxwell's other writings and provides a lively account of a society, the like of which has not been seen in Britain since the days when Border reivers bedevilled the Anglo-Scottish frontier in the 16th century. The participants' numerous kasbahs - defensive towers familiar to tourists and viewers of films, such as "Gladiator" and "Jewel of the Nile" - even echo the pele towers of the Border country. Although the Glaouas emerge as ruthless and brutal power seekers, they were no better nor worse than many of their contemporaries in the Atlas mountains. It was how society had operated for centuries.
A gripping account of the fierce history of Morocco from 1893 to 1956, and a forceful indictment of French (and British) political mis-management and interference in the life of that part of North Africa. Makes any visit to the Atlas mountains hugely more significant. A real education for anyone born before 1950 who was kept in blissful ignorance of what was happening on the southern shores of the Mediterranean.
Worth a 3 star rating as a book but 4 stars for anyone visiting Morocco. This was recommended to me before a visit to Marrakech as a good way of getting a feel for the history of the country. I would similarly recommend it
Fascinating historical account of the 'Lord's' of Morocco. As a traveller there, it enhances the experience of being there. You can even go to the 'palace' at Telouet and experience the history. You can 'hear' the cries. Great Book.
The book was fine and as described (ex Library) Illustrations were all intact, as were the pages Binding was good Delivery was excellent Content of the book is fantastically interesting and absorbing and any traveller into North Africa would do well to read it. Book Seller was excellent and so is the book.
This is one of the best books to get hold of to understand the foundations of what is the culture that is Southern MOrocco today, the influences of the French and what the people have been through and how far they have come or in some cases how little - I lived next door to the Glaoui palace at Telouet on and off for 18months and visited it often as found it such a mesmerising place then when excitedly found this eyeopening book I clammered at the opportunity to have a copy and give a number of copies to various Moroccan friends I worked with in London from Southern Morocco and interestingly one of them his grandfather was in this book being a chief of a tribe up between Marrakech and Settat.
This book is riddled with eye opening facts and heresays and fascinating history - and as there are still a number of Glaoui palaces and kasbahs in the area makes visiting them even more enticing and meaningful.
This is a history book as gripping as any novel and in some cases more extraordinary. The opulence of the Moroccan rulers and their shameless exploitation by the French colonialists make for an excellent ride through politics, history and war. Probably best read when in Morocco but don't wait for that.
Whether you are a first time visitor to Morocco or return again and again this is a must read. It presents a fascinating insight into the country's recent history, a period that is within the living memory of many of us. Well researched it reads like a thriller but, having followed his trail, casts light on why the Morocco of today is the way it is. It enlightens and reveals and it's a gem.