Bertram Thomas (Bertram Sidney Thomas) Biography
(1892–1950), (Bertram Sidney Thomas), Arabia Felix, Alarms and Excursions in Arabia, The Arabs
British Arabist and travel writer, born in Easton-in-Gordano, Somerset; he left school at the age of 16 to work for the Post Office. Following military service in Mesopotamia during the First World War he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, and subsequently returned to the Middle East on administrative work. He was responsible for the mapping of formerly uncharted regions of Southern Arabia and was the first European to cross the Rub Al Khali Desert; an account of the expedition is given in Arabia Felix (1932), his best-known work, for which T. E. Lawrence supplied a foreword. Alarms and Excursions in Arabia (1931) also records his travels, while The Arabs (1937) is a history of the Arab peoples. Thomas's other publications include his linguistic studies, among which are Four Strange Tongues from Southern Arabia—The Hadara Group (1938).
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