Lords of the Atlas The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua, 1893-1956
Set in the medieval city of Marrakesh and the majestic kasbahs of the High Atlas mountains, Lords of the Atlas tells the extraordinary story of Madani and T’hami el Glaoui, warlord brothers who carved out a feudal fiefdom in southern Morocco in the early twentieth century. Quislings of the French colonial administration, they combined the aggression of gangland mobsters with the opulence of hereditary Indian princes, and ruled with a mixture of flamboyance and terror.
On returning from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, T’hami ordered the severed heads of his enemies to be mounted on his gates. Yet in 1956, when the French left Morocco, the Glaoua regime toppled like a pack of cards.
‘The castle, or kasbah, of Telouet is a tower of tragedy that leaves no room for laughter. The double doors to the forecourt are twenty feet high. A giant Negro slave opens the lock with a key a foot long and sets his shoulder to the iron-bossed wood; the door gives way reluctantly, inch by inch, creaking and rasping upon rusty hinges
"… one of the great adventure stories of the twentieth century"
"… his best book."
Lords of the Atlas The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua, 1893-1956 by Gavin Maxwell