Harry Saint John Bridger Philby
The Empty Quarter: Being a Description of the Great South Desert of Arabia known as Rub’ al Khali
Constable and Company
Harry Saint John Bridger Philby (1885−1960) was a British adventurer, political counselor, and one of the most celebrated early modern travelers in Arabia. Philby’s exploration of the Rub’ al Khali, one year after Bertram Thomas’s crossing, made significant scientific and geographical contributions to the Western understanding of the Empty Quarter. Years later, when Philby worked for the Saudi government, he intervened on Wilfred Thesiger’s behalf after Thesiger was detained for entering Saudi Arabia without permission during his crossing of the Empty Quarter. He was released after he spent a night in custody.