Freya Stark

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Book Chapter

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Gale Research


Freya Madeline Stark lived for a century, and into that one hundred years she packed a life of extraordinary daring and ingenuity. "Personally I would rather feel wrong with everybody else than right all by myself," she wrote in Baghdad Sketches ( enlarged edition, 193 7); "I like people different, and agree with the man who said that the worst of the human race is the number of duplicates." Such a motto defines not only her approach to the world but also the character of the woman herself. She had no duplicate. The writings that resulted from her constant travels began as wonder-filled accounts of ancient storybook kingdoms of the Middle East and moved impressively toward a reflective consideration of the differences between a nomadic way of life and the stable urbanity that might have been her lot if she had decided to fit the mold of those around her. In these accounts of her own transformation she brought a growing body of readers not only into exotic locales but also to the brink of metaphysical questions about the meaning of life.

Chapter of

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 195, British Travel Writers 1910–39


Barbara Brothers


From . Dictionary of Literary Biography. © 1998 Gale, a part of Cengage, Inc. Reproduced by permission. www.cengage.com/permissions



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