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The Southern Gates of Arabia: A Journey in the Hadhramaut (Modern Library)by Freya Stark
Synopses & Reviews
In 1934, famed British traveler Freya Stark sailed down the Red Sea, alighting in Aden, located at the tip of the Arabian peninsula. From this backwater outpost, Stark set forth on what was to be her most unforgettable adventure: Following the ancient frankincense routes of the Hadhramaut Valley, the most fertile in Arabia, she sought to be the first Westerner to locate and document the lost city of Shabwa. Chronicling her journey through the towns and encampments of the Hadhramaut, The Southern Gates of Arabia is a tale alive with sheikhs and sultans, tragedy and triumph. Although the claim to discovering Shabwa would not ultimately be Stark's, The Southern Gates of Arabia, a bestseller upon its original publication, remains a classic in the literature of travel. This edition includes a new Introduction by Jane Fletcher Geniesse, Stark's biographer.
In 1935, acclaimed author and explorer Freya Stark landed on the coasts of South Arabia, intent on becoming the first woman to venture alone into the country's interior — and to the ruins of Shabwa, the city of the Queen of Sheba — by way of its ancient Incense Road. With her devoted servant Awiz and guides clothed only in indigo paint, she traveled by donkey, car, and on foot through desert and mountain villages beset by poverty, warring tribes, and illness. It is a story filled with veiled brides, Arab camelmen, sultans and sheikhs.
About the Author
Freya Stark, described by The Times of London as "the last of the Romantic Travellers" upon her death in 1993, published during her lifetime more than thirty books about her travels in the Middle East, including The Southern Gates of Arabia.
Jane Fletcher Geniesse is a former reporter for The New York Times and the author of the biography Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark, a finalist for the 1999 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, New York magazine, and Town & Country. She lives in Washington, D.C.
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