STARK Freya (1932.)
£750.00 [First Edition]
Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.
First edition. 12 plates. 8vo. Original orange cloth, paper label to upper board and spine, chipped, slightly worn, ownership inscription to front free endpaper, bookplate to front pastedown. A very good copy. [viii], 132pp. Baghdad, The Times Press,
A very good copy of Stark's first book. An English edition wouldn't appear until 1937.
Stark enjoyed a worldly upbringing in Paris and Italy before returning to England to train as a nurse. She later learned Arabic at the School of Oriental Studies, and would become one of the greatest female travellers of the twentieth century. "In 1929 she moved to Baghdad, where she went slumming in Arab clothing and was an outsider among priggish British expatriates" (ODNB). During this time she made two journeys into the mountains of western Iran. The first took her to Luristan, which lies between Harsin and Khorramabad. Her second trip was to Ilam and the Kabirkuh mountains. The War Office made maps based on the information she brought back and her profile in the expat community rose as a result.
Jane Robinson, in her work Wayward Women, describes Stark thus, "In all her journeys she has been able to distill and communicate a rich philosophy of travel and to illustrate the art of travelling in time as well as place. She carries the past with her ... always teaching and learning at the same time. She is, quite simply, a classic."
Each chapter of Baghdad Sketches evidences her potential as a travel writer. The last two, pertaining to the Yezidis and Kuwait respectively, are especially gem-like in finish and beauty.
Howgego, S61; Robinson, Wayward Women, pp 28-30; Arcadian Library 15448.
Stock Code: 227858