Justin Marozzi

Tewodros the Tragic

The Barefoot Emperor: An Ethiopian Tragedy

By

HarperPress 404pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

In 1843, Walter Plowden, a young Englishman with a taste for adventure, reached the Ethiopian highlands. He persuaded the initially sceptical Emperor Ras Ali of the immense benefit a trade treaty with Britain would bring his country. Anglo-Ethiopian relations had been born.

It was, Philip Marsden writes,

the tentative start of a relationship that would stumble on through years of inertia, calamity and ignorance, grow stronger through expediency and expressions of mutual love, stumble again through bereavement, suspicion, muddle and imprisonment before entering the arena of its bloody dénouement some twenty years later, amid the dark basalt cliffs of Meqdela.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,