Despite their dangerous appeal, there are a few desolate places in the world that call to a man, daring him to return to their deadly beauty again and again. The world's last unexplored desert held such as allure for the remarkable author of this book. At the dawning of the 20th century the vast desert of Libya remained one of last unexplored places on Earth. Because travel was restricted by the distance camels could trek between wells, vast portions of Libyan interior were still blank spots on the map. Enter Sir Hassanein Bey, the dashing Egyptian diplomat turned explore. Educated at Oxford, where he won favour as a fencer, the Egyptian of Bedouin descent returned home and initially served as a diplomat for King Faud. But Bey's love of adventure came to the fore in 1920 when he accompanied the lovely English travel writer, Rosita Forbes, to the Kufara oasis in Libya. Having befriended the Muslim leaders of the elusive Senussi Brotherhood who controlled the deserts further on, Bey became aware of rumours of a "lost oasis" which lay even deeper in the desert. In 1923 the explore led a small caravan on a remarkable seven month journey across the centre of Libya. More than two thousand gruelling miles later Bey emerged with marvellous tales of having not only located the "lost" oasis of Uweinat, but having also discovered a cave which contained ten-thousand-year-old drawings. Attributed to djinns, these Palaeolithic images depicted a flourishing, but now extinct, pastoral world inhabited by giraffes, ostriches, gazelles, even cows, but no camels. Yet the most startling image depicted human beings swimming in what had become a forbidding desert. Upon his return, Bey was hailed as a hero of exploration and awarded the Founders Medal by the Royal Geographical Society, whilst the mysterious "Cave of the Swimmers" Bey discovered became a legend which featured in the film. The English Patient. Amply illustrated with photographs taken by the author, this is a timeless account of a hazardous journey across the great sand sea. This 2006 paperback book is in a fair condition, which some sun bleaching to its cream cover, a major crease to its back cover and inner two back pages, some minor dogging to the corners of the cover and first and last back few pages from how it has been stored, and some very minor chips and smudge marks to the page block, only visible when the book is closed. The 363 pages themselves are clean. These issues are reflected in the price with used copies of the book on AbeBooks and Amazon starting at over £27 plus postage.