Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar

Yikes, step away from any book that talks about slavery like this, calling freed slaves “grown-up liberated infants” whose refusal to work meant ruin for landlords, “lazy vagabonds… thieves, drunkards, runaways, incendiaries” who must be punished. “Yes, flogging is inhumane, but let somebody provide a substitute.” Um, what? “Slavery is a time-honored institution among Oriental peoples; that it will ever be entirely abolished, I doubt; in any case, attempts to destroy venerable custom at a single dash are foolish.” Rather hard to keep reading this after that outburst.

Salamah bint Saïd (Emily) was born into royalty of the sultanate of Zanzibar and Omar in 1844. The book is mostly about a princess’s life in East Africa. Originally published in German in 1886, it was translated by Lionel Strachey in 1907.