Read Beyond Euphrates: Autobiography 1928-33 (Century Travellers) by Freya Stark Free Online
Book Title: Beyond Euphrates: Autobiography 1928-33 (Century Travellers)|
The author of the book: Freya Stark
Date of issue: April 15th 1989
ISBN 13: 9780712630542
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.96 MB
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Freya Stark has fascinated the world with stories of her intrepid travels to the Middle East and lively accounts of her early life. In TRAVELLER'S PRELUDE she described her first journey, a trip through the Alps at the age of two. From that age on, she was a restless and charismatic sojourner and, fortunately for us, a born storyteller.
BEYOND EUPHRATES takes up the tale at the start of her Eastern travels in 1928 through 1933, undetered by an illness which threatened her life. Through letters and snatches of her diary, she describes Baghdad, life in a harem in Damascus, journeys in Persia and a treasure hunt in Luristan. In addition, she visited England and Canada, all the while maintaining her residence in Italy.
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Read information about the authorFreya Stark was born in Paris, where her parents were studying art. Her mother, Flora, was an Italian of Polish/German descent; her father, Robert, an English painter from Devon.
In her lifetime she was famous for her experiences in the Middle East, her writing and her cartography. Freya Stark was not only one of the first Western women to travel through the Arabian deserts (Hadhramaut), she often travelled solo into areas where few Europeans, let alone women, had ever been.
She spent much of her childhood in North Italy, helped by the fact that Pen Browning, a friend of her father, had bought three houses in Asolo. She also had a grandmother in Genoa. For her 9th birthday she received a copy of the One Thousand and One Nights, and became fascinated with the Orient. She was often ill while young, and confined to the house, so found an outlet in reading. She delighted in reading French, in particular Dumas, and taught herself Latin. When she was 13 she had an accident in a factory in Italy, when her hair got caught in a machine, and she had to spend four months getting skin grafts in hospital, which left her face slightly disfigured.
She later learned Arabic and Persian, studied history in London and during World War I worked as a nurse in Italy, where her mother had remained and taken a share in a business. Her sister, Vera, married the co-owner.
In November 1927 she visited Asolo for the first time in years, and later that month boarded a ship for Beirut, where her travels in the East began. She based herself first at the home of James Elroy Flecker in Lebanon and then in Baghdad, where she met the British high commissioner.
By 1931 she had completed three dangerous treks into the wilderness of western Iran, in parts of which no Westerner had ever been before, and had located the long-fabled Valleys of the Assassins (hashish-eaters). During the 1930s she penetrated the hinterland of southern Arabia, where only a handful of Western explorers had previously ventured and then never as far or as widely as she went.
During World War II, she joined the British Ministry of Information and contributed to the creation of a propaganda network aimed at persuading Arabs to support the Allies or at least remain neutral. She wrote more than two dozen books based on her travels, almost all of which were published by John Murray in London, with whom she had a successful and long-standing working relationship.