book cover of Zoraida

Zoraida

(1895)
A Romance of the Harem And the Great Sahara
A novel by

 
 
This is a unique and authenticated edition of this title which is published exclusively for e-readers by Qwertyword Limited of Exeter.
We have created a new cover style, colour and image; proofed and reset the text; edited out the errors; created chapter formats; and presented the work in a layout, and style designed for ease of reading on your device.
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ZORAIDA means "enchanting woman" in Arabic, used by Cervantes for a character in his novel 'Don Quixote' (1606): Zoraida is a beautiful Moorish woman of Algiers who converts to Christianity and elopes with a Spanish officer.

This novel, first published in 1895, is not typical of the overall William Le Queux style: it is one of his earliest books following Guilty Bonds (1891) and The Temptress (1895). No Germans, no spies and not an indictment of contemporary British government.

This is as close as Victorians would have accepted as "pornographic thriller" albeit tame by contemporary standards but it created some controversy at the time.

The story is set in the nineteenth century deserts of the Middle East, blending knowledge of Arabic culture, religion and tribal and social behaviour.

Here are some extracts:

"Zoraida the wife of a thief and murderer! No! I could not bring myself to believe it. She was so young, with arms and hands so delicately moulded and eyes so clear and wide open, that it seemed impossible that she was actually wedded to a villain like Hadj Absalam".

" ... . the paraphernalia of a harem would considerably hamper his movements; and... "

How strange it was that I should meet here, so far removed from civilisation as we in Europe know it, a man who held a secret which, if made known, would cause one of the greatest scandals that has ever shocked Society! How bitter were his thoughts; how utterly wrecked was his life! In order that a leader of smart Paris - a woman over whose beauty London had raved - should live in blissful happi ness with her husband, this man was leading an aimless, hopeless life, condemned by his friends as a coward and a criminal.

" ... .. his household consists of nearly a thousand persons."

"Of whom about half are inmates of his harem," added the lieutenant, smiling.

As I advanced, he suddenly drew them aside, and in a low deep voice announced me in Arabic, inviting me to enter.

Stepping forward, I gazed around in curiosity and amaze ment: I was in the harem.
Her dark crim son velvet rlila, or jacket, cut very low at the throat, exposing her white, bare breast, was heavily embroidered with gold, the little chachia stuck jauntily on the side of her head was of the same hue, thickly ornamented with seed pearls, while her wide, baggy serroual, reaching only mid-leg, were of palest eau de nil silk, fine as gauze, and brocaded with tin ... .
The air of the harem was heavy with sweet perfumes, mingling with the sensuous odour of burning pastilles.
"Well," she asked, with a merry, rippling laugh, "art thou satisfied? Do I please thee?"

Her lips met mine in a long, hot, passionate caress; but at last she pushed me from her with firmness,

Her bare breast, with its profusion of pearls and diamonds heaved and fell as she breathed,

Then, dipping her finger in the dust, she drew it across my fore head from left to right, and afterwards made the same sign across her own bejewelled brow and across her bare breast.

This is a great novel full of deceptions, misplaced trust, valiant behaviour and heroic violence; cultural conflict between Arab and French. A work of literary style and art and a great read.


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Paperback Editions

May 2016 : Paperback
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Title: Zoraida A Romance of the Harem and the Great Sahara
Author(s): William Le Queux
ISBN: 1-5333-5799-4 / 978-1-5333-5799-1
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 2015 : Paperback
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Title: Zoraida: "A Romance of the Harem and the Great Sahara"
Author(s): William Le Queux
ISBN: 1-5229-4619-5 / 978-1-5229-4619-9
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2015 : Paperback
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Title: Zoraida: A Romance of the Harem and the Great Sahara
Author(s): William Le Queux
ISBN: 1-5186-0888-4 / 978-1-5186-0888-9
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 2015 : Paperback
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Title: Zoraida
Author(s): William Le Queux
ISBN: 1-5120-2094-X / 978-1-5120-2094-6
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2015 : USA Paperback
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Title: Zoraida: A Romance of the Harem and the Great Sahara
Author(s): William Le Queux
ISBN: 1-5089-7282-6 / 978-1-5089-7282-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 2013 : USA Paperback
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Title: Zoraida: A Romance of the Harem and the Great Sahara
Author(s): William Le Queux
ISBN: 1-4942-3288-X / 978-1-4942-3288-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Createspace
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


September 2013 : USA Paperback
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Title: Zoraida; A Romance of the Harem and the Great Sahara
Author(s): William Le Queux
ISBN: 1-230-40364-7 / 978-1-230-40364-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: TheClassics.us
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December 2012 : USA Paperback
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Title: Zoraida: A Romance of the Harem and the Great Sahara
Author(s): William Le Queux
ISBN: 1-4812-6795-7 / 978-1-4812-6795-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Availability: Amazon UK   


April 2012 : USA Paperback
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Title: Zoraida: A Romance Of The Harem And The Great Sahara...
Author(s): William Le Queux
ISBN: 1-248-54737-3 / 978-1-248-54737-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Nabu Press
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April 2012 : USA Paperback
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Title: Zoraida: A Romance Of The Harem And The Great Sahara...
Author(s): William Le Queux
ISBN: 1-279-81383-0 / 978-1-279-81383-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Nabu Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2011 : USA Paperback
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Title: Zoraida: a romance of the harem and the Great Sahara.
Author(s): William Le queux
ISBN: 1-241-24163-5 / 978-1-241-24163-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: British Library, Historical Print Editions
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January 2010 : USA Paperback
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Title: Zoraida: A Romance of the Harem and the Great Sahara
Author(s): William Le Queux
ISBN: 1-143-21457-9 / 978-1-143-21457-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Nabu Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

December 2012 : Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Zoraida A Romance of the Harem and the Great Sahara
Author(s): William Le Queux
Publisher:
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2010 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Zoraida
Author(s): William Le Queux
Publisher: Qwertyword Limited
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2009 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Zoraida: A Romance of the Harem and the Great Sahara
Author(s): William Le Queux
Publisher: Library of Alexandria
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA