Here are the vanished days of the unfettered Sultanate in all their dark, melodramatic splendor-a mingling of magnificence with squalor, culture with barbarism, refined cruelty with nave humor. Until 1912 Morocco never suffered foreign domination, and its mountainous interior was as closed to foreigners as Tibet. Walter Harris (1866-1933), though, was the exception., He first visited in 1887 and lived in the country for more than thirty-five years, and as the Times correspondent had observed every aspect of its life. He was an intimate of at least three of the ruling Sultans (as well as King Edward VII) and a man capable even of befriending his kidnapper. It was said that only three Christians had ever visited the walled city of Chechaouen: one was poisoned, one came for an hour disguised as a rabbi, and the other was Harris., Originally published in 1921, Morocco That Was is alternately sharp, melodramatic, and extremely funny.
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