VGC.Chatto and Windus,1999.First UK edition-first printing(2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1).Black hardback with laminated Dj cover(a couple of nicks and scratches on the laminated cover),both in VGC. Ex-Library book with stamp,pocket,sticker but in VGC.Illustrated with b/w photos,drawings,maps.Nice and clean pages with a ink mark and light shelf wear on the outer edges,small colour mark on the edge of the first page of the book,a couple of creases and nicks on the edges of the pages.The book is in VGC with light shelf wear.420pp including Bibliography,notes,list of illustrations and index.Price un-clipped.A collectable first edition. This is another paragraph Review: One image stands out from Jane Geniesse's new biography of the writer and explorer Dame Freya Stark. Taken just after her first trip to Damascus in 1928, it is a photograph of Stark in full Arab dress: a remarkable emblem of this woman's passion for the East, her inchoate wish to explore the mysteries of a new land. Born to Flora and Robert Stark on January 31, 1893, Stark was, on the one hand, a creature of the late 19th century: a woman brought up within the repressive confines of Victorian family life. On the other hand, that family life was erratic, nomadic, even scandalous. In particular, Flora Stark looms large in Freya's life: a mother, driven by her own desires for domestic and artistic independence, from whom her daughter struggles to break free. The connection between that struggle and Freya's passion for travel--the lure of the East in her eyes--is one of the obscure, but fascinating, threads to emerge from Geniesse's biography. Battling against frail health, as well as social convention, Stark carved out a place for herself as an outstanding cultural explorer and commentator. At the same time, as Geniesse uncovers, she engaged in a lifelong struggle against low self-esteem (a terrible accident as a child left her permanently scarred) to become the star of her own adventure story. Bringing into focus Stark's personal and public personae, Geniesse has written an absorbing and timely account of a woman who played a key part in the charged encounter between Europe and the Middle East in the 20th century.