For an area steeped in myth and
fascination, the fabled city of Timbuktu has always seemed extraordinary to the
outside world. But one of the most remarkable periods in its history was only 5
years ago, when a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to save its
ancient manuscripts from jihadist threat. Charlie English, former head of
International News at the Guardian and fellow of the Royal Geographical
Society, has extensively researched this astounding place and expertly twines a
story that is greater than any myth.