Lady Hester Stanhope
London: Gerald Howe, 1927.
Hardcover. Very Good in a good dust jacket. 96 pp. Light offsetting to endpapers, light wear to edges, contents clean and sound. Dust jacket has internal tape reinforcements and is chipped at corners and spine ends with a small loss along the front joint. Lady Stanhope (1776-1839) was a rather eccentric British aristocrat who grew bored with life at home and began traveling in 1810. She spent a few months in Malta, then a year in Constantinople, before moving on to tour Syria and the Holy Land. "She travelled in style, made lavish gifts to pashas and others in authority, and arrogated to herself the right to do very much as she pleased. She was warned that when she reached ‘fanatical’ Damascus she must wear a veil and conform to convention in other ways, but this she refused to do. Unveiled, tall, and impressive in her Turkish male clothes she entered the city on horseback and made a great sensation" (DNB). A few months later, she became the first European woman to visit Palmyra. Eventually she moved herself and her entourage to a remote monastery in Lebanon, where she lived out her days under increasingly impoverished conditions.