Cyril Crossland (1878-1943) was Director of the Sudan Pearl Fishery between 1905 and 1922. At this time, the British colonial government had taken charge of running the fishery, with local fishermen as employees. A marine biologist and zoologist, Crossland was praised in his obituary in the journal Nature as 'one of the last explorer-naturalists of the Darwin type'. This book is both an account of his life in the Sudan and a scientific survey of the coral reefs on the Red Sea coast. It offers a lively description of the region, its people and customs, and a clear, accessible explanation of the development of coral reefs. In Crossland's time this region had not been fully mapped by Western explorers and this study was an important contribution to knowledge. The book is illustrated with many of Crossland's own photographs of landscapes and people and his diagrams of the coral reefs.