Freya Stark: Passionate Nomad

Front Cover
Pimlico, 1999 - British - 402 pages
79 Reviews
Fluent in at least seven languages and a writer of ravishing prose accounts of her journeys, Freya Stark was one of the great travel writers of the twentieth century. In 1934 her first book, 'Valley of the Assassins, was hailed as a classic and T.E. Lawrence pronounced Stark 'a gallant creature, a remarkable person'. It marked the start of a dazzling career as a writer, explorer and official diplomat which led Stark to explore ancient trading routes in the Yemeni desert, Crusaders' castles in Syria, uncharted regions of Arabia and Alexander the Great's path through Turkey, often travelling alone through dangerous and uncomfortable territories - once having to be airlifted to safety by the RAF. During the Second World War, she worked for the Foreign Office in Baghdad and Cairo and made an illfated tour of America for the Ministry of Information. She maried late - and unwisely - but continued to travel and write well into old age, going to the Himalayas aged 89, and lived to be 100, leaving a legacy of over thirty volumes of travel writings, autobiography and letters. Her life reads like an adventure story, imbued with the captivating spirit of the East. Jane Geniesse's ebullient yet touching account of Stark's life uncovers the complexity and charm surrounding someone who was both hugely feted and yet repeatedly disappointed in her private life - a romantic, a complete original and an inspiration to those who followed.

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This is a great portrayal of a fascinating women. - Goodreads
Well-written, well-researched and a good read. - Goodreads
This is biographical writing at its best. - Goodreads

Review: Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark

User Review  - Jane - Goodreads

An excellent biography of an utterly fascinating and unique woman! Read full review

Review: Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark

User Review  - Goodreads

I cannot remember what previous readings led me to this book. I had never heard of Freya Stark. I was astonished by the breadth of her journeys, oftentimes alone into turbulent Islamic lands of others ... Read full review

About the author (1999)

Jane Fletcher Geniesse is a former reporter for "The New York Times". Her writing has been featured in "The Washington Post", "New York" magazine, & "Town & Country". She lives in Washington, D.C.

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