BOOKS – The Zodiac Arch

By Freya Stark
Published by I.B.Tauris
ISBN 9781780766881
Price £9.99 paperback

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With tantalising chapters as In Defence of Smuggling and Lunch with Homer this witty, eye-opening tapestry of writings on travel and a life spent as one of the 20th century’s most formidable adventuresses is Freya Stark at her luminous best. In chronological order, spanning an extraordinary 50 years, from 1919 to 1967, Stark’s writings range from eloquent musings on the nature of travel, of being a woman – both writer and explorer – in what was then predominantly a male world and jewel-bright stories from across the world – Arabia to North Africa, Iran and India – that captivate the reader with every sentence. There are romantic picnics under starlit skies on remote islands, meaningful moments of quiet in Mecca and Jerusalem and heartfelt accounts of encounters with a kaleidoscope of people. resurrects many lost worlds, but it is also an inspiration for all those under the spell of wanderlust.

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