First edition, first printing. With two 1976 autograph letters from Freya Stark to Martha Keeling Hodgeson loosely laid in. Original black cloth with silver titles to the spine, in dustwrapper. Illustrated throughout with black and white photographs. A near fine copy, the binding tight and cloth clean, contents, with a newspaper clipping featuring a piece of writing by Stark pasted in on the front pastedown, are otherwise clean throughout and without stamps or inscriptions. Complete with the original dustwrapper which is lightly rubbed and creased to the edges. Not price clipped (20.00 to the bottom of the front flap).

Containing two hand written letters from Freya Stark (written in Asolo, Italy) to Martha Keeling Hodgson, the author of the 1976 book 'The Spell of the Shell'. The first letter, dated the 5th of April 1976, reports that Keeling Hodgson's shell pictures and letters have arrived but the book has not, bemoans the local postal service, discusses her own writing schedule, and gives sympathy for the recipient's arthritis. The second, dated the 1st of May of the same year, praises 'The Spell of the Shell' and mentions that she is waiting for her own latest book, volume 3 of 'Letters', to be printed. Freya Stark was an English explorer and travel writer who undertook her first expedition in 1927 when, due to Lebanon and Syria being under a repressive French regime which did not allow travel in the region, she travelled in secret (moving only at night and through the countryside) by donkey through Lebanon. A few years later she became the first westerner to explore certain remote parts of the Iranian wilderness, and in 1934 travelled to the Hadhramaut. During World War II she was employed by the British Ministry of Information and was posted in Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, and Palestine. Following the war she resumed her explorations, was made a Dame in 1972, and travelled widely all the way into old age; at the age of 89 she was filmed by the BBC riding into the Himalayas on a mule. She wrote of her travels prolifically from 1934 to 1988.

Stock code: 22161


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London: Chatto and Windus.


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