First published in 1877, this book recounts the author’s travels from Tripoli in present-day Libya to the city of Kairouan in modern Tunisia. Rae gives detailed descriptions of Tripoli, the plague, the Gulf of Syrte, Tunis, Sfax and the island of Djerba. There is also a chapter on Tripoli’s Jewish quarter and its inhabitants.
Of particular interest, however, is Rae’s daring visit to the holy city of Kairouan (Kairwan). Rae was one of the earliest non-Muslims to visit and offers a stirring account of his reception and a detailed description of the city and its main buildings.