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In Morocco

3.16 of 5 stars 3.16  ·  rating details  ·  196 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Edith Wharton journeyed to Morocco in the final days of the First World War, at a time when there was no guidebook to the country.[i]In Morocco[/i] is the classic account of her expedition. A seemingly unlikely chronicler, Wharton, more usually associated with American high society, explored the country for a month by military vehicle. Travelling from Rabat and Fez to Moul...more
Paperback, 129 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by John Beaufoy Publishing (first published 1919)
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June Seghni
I have been interested in this part of the world for some time...I have always been something of a romantic, devouring the works of Paul Bowles ,long time resident of Morocco.. and following the adventures of intrepid female travellers; Gertrude Bell, Isabelle Eberhardt, Freya Stark. so I was thoroughly prepared to love this book.
In fact it was , to use a sporting cliche,a game of two halves for me. The lush descriptions of the sights and sounds of Morocco were enticing, the historical detail ab...more
Nilda Brooklyn
I knew going into this book that Edith Wharton traveled to and wrote about Morocco during its French colonial period,after reading the book you learn that her entire trip was made possible by the French colonial government, so I was not expecting a nuanced account of life in Morocco, but I wanted to give her account and experience an open-mind. Her experience in Morocco (though it is an important fact that this book is little more than a travel journal for a one month journey) is one that has be...more
kat
If six months seemed like a long time a year seems like eternity, and a whole goddamned year is how long it will be before I'm allowed to travel. So what did I do? I started reading about Edith Wharton's trip to Morocco, or rather, what I thought would be an account of Edith Wharton's trip to Morocco. And ostensibly I guess that's what this is, but mostly it's a mere snapshot of an exotic country in the midst of colonialism, the Cliff's Notes version of the Cliff Notes for the country's long and...more
Barbara
Wharton makes her steady, stately way through Morocco, commenting on Roman ruins, chubby merchants on tiny donkeys, short or long trains of camels, veiled women, dark-eyed children darting through the plazas and bazaars--over bad roads, good roads, or no roads at all. As long as she does all the work, I can't get tired of her remarks. And since I've never been to Morocco, I'll never know if what she writes is at all like the real place. And since she was there a hundred years ago (almost) it mig...more
Zachary
I went. She forgot mention a few very important things.
Fiona
This is the true experiences of author Edith Wharton's expedition to French Morocco in the early days of WWI. At the time, there was little travel to this country.

Ms Wharton had an extraordinary view of Morocco. She was the personal guest of General and Madame Lyautey. He was the French Resident-General (head administrative honcho in Morocco). As a result she was provided unparalleled access to areas of the country, particularly to the Sultan's palace and mosques, which were typically off limits...more
Timothy Browning
I'm not sure if reading this book while on route/in Morocco made it worse or better. It was definitely interesting to read how different our impressions of the country were and how similar they were at the same time. I also thought a lot about if the differences were caused by the actual place being different, which it certainly is, or if it just a difference of perception.

The writing here is a beautiful, as all of Wharton's is. The flow in the book does seem off, as she doesn't really seem sure...more
Jen
In Morocco is one of the most interesting books I have read in a while, a real hidden gem stumbled upon while browsing Wharton's works. It has kind of a strange arrangement though...

The first section was my favourite- dreamy poetic descriptions of cities and ruins with a few vague personal experiences.

Next comes a collection of visits to the women's quarters (harems) of various people. Critics think this part show the most personal opinions. I thought it was interesting, but would have preferre...more
Pam
Edith Wharton_NEVER lets me down.This was one of the most descriptive books I've read in some time.Her every detail about what city she's in,the local flavor,the weather,the architectural designs,the custom of sitting on the roofs,the Markets,a witness to sacrificial animals used in religion,experience of the Harems,the food,The Sultans and the History of Morocco,etc...are painted as an "Impressionistic" work of Art.

Wharton painted realistic scenes of modern life at the time of her travels.She...more
Bebe
Fascinating little gem about a trip to Moroco, my bags are packed I want to leave now!
Tonileg
This book was written over a hundred years ago, so it came to be a surprise that it was relatively correct as a guide for modern times. I enjoyed the commentary on the customs and peoples that Ms. Wharton encounters on her voyage to a place 'that has no guidebook'. She makes everything sound so exotic which was perfect for my own experiences in Morocco. It is exotic. Don't expect the same restaurants and hotels to be around, just like picking up an old guide from the 90's, but the people and the...more
Tarah
Wharton is much more vivid in her detail in her descriptions in "In Morocco." Because her background knowledge is so much less than for her other, European, travel writing, she relies more on her descriptive powers, which are in abundance. Try to overlook the privilege that this woman is exerting by taking this trip: she is traveling via French military car during WWI escorted by a French General... who, later in life, would be a fascist sympathizer. But other than THAT, this is actually a reall...more
AmblingBooks
"Wharton's language alternates between unimpassioned frankness and voluptuous description of Morocco's staggering natural and cultural beauty. Anna Fields takes her cue from the text, delivering a clipped and assured reading when Wharton discusses conveyance, history and other mundane matters, and an unhurried, even dreamy, reading of Wharton's sensuous and evocative descriptions." � AudioFile

Listen to In Morocco on your iPhone, desktop, or smartphone.
Linda Smith
Lots of remarkable descriptions of Morocco as it was: Wharton's visit took place just after the French established their presence there, post World War I. Just be wary: her views and opinions are a reflection of the contemporary colonial mentality that prevailed at the time; she was an adamant supporter of French imperialism, in praise of their "civilizing" influence on the country. Nevertheless, her first-hand account of harems, the countryside and the sultan, etc., are insightful.
Jennifer
This book was dryreading from a writer who I normally love. I know this book is a document of her travels rather than a fictional work, but I still expected a more interesting read.

I gave it three stars, because it did still present a verbal snapshot of what the country of Morocco was like in the early 1900s along with a good historical background on the country.

I was particularly intrigued (and saddened) to read how restricted the women were.
Diana Turner
Wharton pays very close attention to the history of every place she visits, and recounts it here. While the stories she recounts are interesting, her travelogue comes across pretty dry. There were scant descriptions of people - just sweeping histories or observations of groups, but hardly any narratives of individual Moroccans , nor of herself or her travel companions. This was a pretty big letdown.
Joey Manley
I had forgotten that Edith Wharton was an interior designer. The most interesting parts of this book describe her impressions of the Moroccan design aesthetic, in clothing, architecture furnishings, etc. her political and social "insights" are as poisonous as one might expect from a provincial white lady of great privilege in the early 20th century. The rest is blah. Blah.
Judith
Considering the distance in time, this was a fascinating account of a wartime trip through Morocco. I was interested to find that things had not changed in some ways from 1918 to 1979 when I went there. We tend to think women of Wharton's era were ignorant or innocent, but Wharton was neither as her novels show, and she has convinced me to return in Morocco.
Darren
Cool to read about someone's travels through Morocco in 1917, before there were any guide books. Especially, because it was a woman traveller.
Terrell
I got this books for my trip to morocco. I felt that Wharton did a great job summing up the complex history of the country. In addition her language was stunning and I felt many of her descriptions still rang true. I would definitely recommend to those traveling to or considering going to morocco.
Lindsay
Probably not the most relevant research for my forth coming trip to Morocco, but it has made me more excited about the trip.

The writing style was beautiful and highly descriptive, and has left me with an exotic impression of Morocco, but I'll have to see how it measures up.
Sophie Goodeve
Difficult at times because it is sooooo colonial, with something of a total love-affair with General Lyautey and the "improvements" of the French Protectorate. However, I read this whilst I was in Morocco and I think it did add something to my experience by showing this perspective.
Amanda
I read this travel guide on the trains between Marrakesh, Casablanca and Fes.It is by no means a complete account for a modern Moroccan traveler, but it was fascinating to learn how much was same 90 years after this book was written.
Richard Brooks
Entertaining and highly descriptive, yet anachronistic. A good portrait of Morocco at the time. Lots of detail toward the end regarding the government and statistics...out of step with the rest of the book.
JM
Heavy going - unlike her wonderful novels. Interesting because she was one of the first Europeans to travel Morocco after World War 1, and the book describes a country and culture long gone.
Angharad
Interesting insight to the past of Morocco, some of the descriptions a bit tedious, such as naming loads of old sultans and French generals.
Jennifer
Traveling to Morocco in January. Hope to find some of what Edith Wharton writes still exists.
Pnorman811
Nice guide to Morocco from 1917. Wonder what it's like today.
Judi
Interesting historical perspective.
Bridget
Loved it. Reads like fiction but interesting look at Morocco long ago and far away. Reader must realize when she was writing.
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16
Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the a...more
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